Memo to Republican candidates: Making nice not Reagan’s style

Heard a portion of this on Rush yesterday. Saw a longer segment on Jim Hoft’s site. Then read the entire speech at American Rhetoric and now I pass it on to you. Ronald Reagan’s greatness shines brightly in this campaign speech given on Labor Day in 1980. He takes on Carter head on. Video below and a relevant portion of the transcript.

It’s worth watching or at the very least reading the entire speech. But here are some segments that I found pointed and perfect. I mean, you could take this speech and deliver it today, almost word for word.

Today a President of the United States would have us believe that dream is over or at least in need of change. Jimmy Carter’s Administration tells us that the descendants of those who sacrificed to start again in this land of freedom may have to abandon the dream that drew their ancestors to a new life in a new land.

You’re right. The Carter record is a litany of despair, of broken promises, of sacred trusts abandoned and forgotten. Eight million — eight million out of work. Inflation running at 18 percent in the first quarter of this year. Black unemployment at 14 percent, higher than any single year since the government began keeping separate statistics. Four straight major deficits run up by Carter and his friends in Congress. The highest interest rates since the Civil War, reaching at times close to 20 percent, lately they’re down to more than 11 percent but now they’ve begun to go up again. Productivity falling for six straight quarters among the most productive people in the world.

Through his inflation he has raised taxes on the American people by 30 percent, while their real income has risen only 20 percent. The Lady standing there in the harbor has never betrayed us once. But this Administration in Washington has betrayed the working men and women of this country.

The President promised that he would not increase taxes for the low and middle-income people, the workers of America. Then he imposed on American families the largest single tax increase in our nation’s history. His answer to all this misery? He tries to tell us that we’re “only” in a recession, not a depression, as if definitions, words, relieve our suffering.

Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well if it’s a definition — if it’s a definition he wants, I’ll give him one.  A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.  A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.

Reagan went on to say, he should probably stop there, laughed and went on. Here’s a bit more.

Let Mr. Carter go to their homes, look their children in the eye and argue with them that it’s “only” a recession that put Dad or Mom out of work. Let him go to the unemployment lines and lecture those workers who have been betrayed on what is the proper definition for their widespread economic misery. Human tragedy, human misery, the crushing of the human spirit; they do not need defining, they need action. And it’s action, in the form of jobs, to lower taxes, and an expanded economy that as President, I intend to provide.

Now, call this human tragedy whatever you want. Whatever it is, it’s Jimmy Carter’s. He caused it. He tolerates it. And he’s going to answer to the American people for it.

Here’s the video … the first part is at 2:54 … and the second at … 6:46


Sounds just like Huntsman …


or as Michelle Malkin calls him “McCain on Wheels.”

Huntsman is the latest no-labels flavor of the month, a straw man of the same people who have spent the past year smearing entitlement reformers as senior citizen-killers, budget hawks as Hitler’s spawn, border-security activists as racists, and leading GOP women as sluts, nuts and bimbos.

Just like the failed 2008 GOP contender whose consultants are now fueling the Huntsman bid, McCain 2.0 is a big-spending accommodationist more in tune with the Democratic elite than with the conservative rank-and-file. In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty on Tuesday, Huntsman assailed the current economic crisis overseen by the Obama administration as “totally unacceptable” and “totally un-American.” Yet, Huntsman retains nothing but “respect” for his former boss in the White House and laments the loss of “civility” wrought by “corrosive” political debates.

18 replies
  1. gillie28
    gillie28 says:

    Who is Ronald Reagan?? I watch Fox News sometimes, so obviously am abysmally ignorant (had to get this in somewhere!).
    p.s. Huntsman vs. Obama would be “politics-lite” that’s for sure – maybe he could appoint Obama ambassador to China or somewhere 🙂

  2. RoBrDona
    RoBrDona says:

    Hard to be nice to the Progressive Socialist cadre that are happy to spend a lifetime reeducating?our hearts and minds, taxing?everything in sight, and destroying the incubators of private enterprise. And surprise! There are answers, a la Reagan, and in the entire course of that speech he did not talk down to his fellow Americans once. Try getting O-Hoover to do that.??

  3. GaryInSoGlast
    GaryInSoGlast says:

    I am really losing my patience with the Republicans.? We are on a ship headed for the rocks and all we get are people not wanting to upset the drunken captain.? Some days, I just wish the whole thing would crash and the people would get what they deserve after all these years of folly.? I know many people that deserve the devastating end to this ridiculous circus.? The sad thing is that my children don?t deserve this end to our great country.? If they won?t stand up for us, then we will have to do it ourselves.? Time is up for us to wait for someone else.? They are drunk with power in our state house and our federal government, now we need to sober them up by kicking them out.? We deserve what we get if we don?t, but God save our souls for what we do to our children?s future if we don?t stand up NOW!? I just hope I?m not the only one left thinking…

  4. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    John Huntsman, I knew Ronald Reagan. I voted for Ronald Reagan. And you, sir, are no Ronald Reagan.

  5. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    Jim, we’re dyin’ out here for a viable candidate…maybe we were spoiled by Reagan, I don’t know.? But no one has the cashews to stand up for what they believe in anymore and campaign on it.? In the end, I think it’ll be a woman who does.? Are these guys like Huntsman just proof of the wussification of (many) males in our country?? Give me a tough talker who doesn’t beat around the bush…enough of this pc bull and no labels.? Makes me wanna gag.

  6. OkieJim
    OkieJim says:

    Huntsman is a typical RINO. I’m not happy with him either. But then again, I’m an independent, so I don’t get to vote for or against him. I will guarantee you that Huntsman is the choice of the Democrat strategists, just like McCain was in ’08. For all those reasons, all you guys who can vote in the Republican primaries … would y’all do me a big favor and fill in the circle for someone like Herman Cain? PLEASE??

  7. crystal4
    crystal4 says:

    Don’t know anything about Huntsman but it seems there is finally 1 R candidate with a little class.

  8. Jeff S
    Jeff S says:

    We need someone on Repub side to take it to Obama.? Stop it?with the nice nice.? We need Bachman, Palin or Christy…someone who is not afraid?to do what Reagan did and attack the administration for their shortcomings.? If not, then the Republican Party will go the way of the Whigs (remember them).?

  9. Todd from Farmington
    Todd from Farmington says:

    Of course the Left loves Huntsman, he’ll play nice while Obama stabs him in the back.? We need to stop worrying about what these SOBs think about us.? 2012 is far too of an important election.
    I want Rubio to run!

  10. steadyjohn
    steadyjohn says:

    Yes, the Reagan speech is an excellent reminder of what needs to be done, at least rhetorically, to wage a full frontal attack on Obama’s?incompetence and failure. It’s no longer a matter of hoping he will fail, he has failed, and miserably.

  11. stacyc
    stacyc says:

    We’ve let the liberal media define what ?isn’t “nice”.? Debate and disagreement and holding people accountable for their decisions and policies is not “being mean.”? No where does Reagon name call or denegrate Carter. He simply explains what his policies have been and how they have hurt the country.? His speech is tame compared to some of the rhetoric that has come out of President Obama’s mouth and many other liberals towards conservatives.? It’s time we stop being scared of how the liberal media is going to report and speak the truth.?

  12. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Hey Winnie & Tim, am I the only one that sees Huntsman as Mr. Rogers?? C’mon put a sweater on him and you can start to sing, “It’s a wonderful day in the Neighborhood, a beautiful day in our neighborhood. Would you be mine, could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor?” The MAN who started the woosification of (many) men. Certainly not all.
    You guys have got to stop all this negativism. As Ben Stein says the debate he watched made him very proud of? the Republicans in the debate. He likes Bachman, by the way, but fell short of outright support.? He liked Cain and Pawlenty also.

  13. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    Lynn, we’ve been living in obama’s & the dem’s Land of Make Believe for so long now, it’s somewhat difficult to not have a bit of a negative streak.? But, yeah…totally Mr. Rogers…lol
    The media will (probably) choose our candidate based on what they think is a republican with *class* who won’t have a chance against obama.? We need someone with a backbone…I don’t want a candidate who “respects” Obama.? What is there to respect?? He’s destroying this country.? Any republican candidate who goes at it from that direction is pandering to the left and doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell at beating this guy in 2012.
    Bottom line, if people don’t start getting cranky about the state of the union and what this noob has done to us, it’ll never change.

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