There’s no rest for former president Ronald Reagan, not even in death. The conservative icon’s name was invoked 45 times during the second Republican presidential debate in 2016.
He hasn’t gotten a break since then. Current president and conservative icon (?) Donald Trump has taken to comparing himself with the Gipper as he’s been making his rounds. Don’t misunderstand: He’s not saying he’s similar to Reagan. He’s saying he’s better.
Trump made a meandering address during the NATO Summit in Brussels, right before his trip to the United Kingdom. He talked Brexit and brought the conversation back to one of his favorite topics: the 2016 election. Then he made a detour to share a bit of trivia.
“One of the states we won, Wisconsin -- I didn’t even realize this until fairly recently -- that was the one state that Ronald Reagan didn’t win when he ran the board a second time.”
Trump has been saying this a lot lately. The thing is, it’s not true.
Reagan won Wisconsin in 1984. The distinction of being the ones that got away go to Minnesota and the District of Columbia. This state hasn’t gone red since it went for Richard Nixon in 1972.
Even amidst bluster about NATO and Brexit, the internet has taken notice.
Barely a single thing Mr Trump said at yesterday’s NATO press conference was factually correct. Even his “off piste” irrelevant ramble about winning Wisconsin, where Reagan had failed. Wrong. Reagan won Wisconsin twice. He lost Minnesota. So did Trump. Nixon last Repub to win it.— Andrew Neil (@afneil) July 13, 2018
President Trump is talking about his election and electoral votes again, saying he recently learned Reagan didn’t carry Wisconsin in his re-election bid. But that’s not true: Reagan lost Minnesota, home of Mondale. He won Wisconsin.— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) July 12, 2018
Most of it is incoherent. Also worth noting Reagan won Wisconsin. Reagan lost Minnesota as Trump did. Guy can’t get anything right, even when he’s not trying to mislead (I think) https://t.co/smooXNrvh8— Jimmy Lightfoot (@jimmylig) July 13, 2018
This is a hard one to fathom. Reagan in 1984 only lost Minnesota (1980 also lost) but Trump also lost in Minnesota so I have no clue what point he was trying to make??— Lipareaux (@Lipareaux1) July 12, 2018
Trump and Reagan do have some surprising similarities. Their respective backgrounds in entertainment, for one. Until Trump came along, Reagan was also the oldest person elected to the presidency. And like Reagan, Trump lost Minnesota.
But next election, as he told a crowd at his rally in Duluth, Trump hopes to depart from his predecessor and win Minnesota.
“And in two and a half years, it's going to be really easy, I think.”