Ron Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, says his father would have considered Donald Trump an incompetent traitor who is betraying the country.
“My father would—although he might not use words like this because he was a fairly genteel person—my father would pinch Trump’s empty head off and shit down his flabby neck,” Reagan told the Daily Beast in an interview published Friday.
“My father would have been ashamed of this Republican Party,” Ron Reagan added. “He would have been embarrassed and ashamed that a president of the United States was as incompetent and traitorous as the man occupying the White House now. He’s a disgrace to the office of the presidency.”
The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman spoke with Reagan, a lifelong atheist, after his 2015 ad for the Freedom From Religion Foundation — which works to keep church and state separate—aired on some networks Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate.
As a supporter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Ron Reagan is effectively working to undo his father’s legacy. President Reagan welcomed the “moral majority,” and it was during his administration that the marriage between evangelical Christians and the Republican Party began.
In the interview, Ron Reagan addresses not only this issue, but also his father’s horrific record on HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ issues, and even rumors that he’s gay (he’s not). Reagan says his father was not privately homophobic, but failed to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic for several years due to a combination of ignorance and politics.
“My father was surrounded by people of a mind to ignore it,” he said. “As president of the United States you rely on people to funnel information to you. And he would not have been someone on his own to read up on the disease. …
“I spoke to him about it, my mother did. When Rock Hudson died of AIDS [in 1985], it suddenly woke him up. He knew Rock was gay, of course. It didn’t diminish his affection for him. He and his administration were slow to get on board. I won’t defend that, but it wasn’t as if he came into office with a fully blown AIDS crisis on hand. At that point, nobody knew what it was. …
“We are now in the present. You’re not going to get anywhere by attacking Ronald Reagan. He’s dead and gone. His administration is long gone. We have to focus on the present. What happens now? Who is responsible now going forward? What we have to focus on is getting this asshole out of the White House and his homophobic friends, and speaking forthrightly of the vitriol and venom embedded in this evangelism right now, today.”
Read the full interview here.