McConnell And Gingrich At CPAC: Dems Need To Stop Co-Opting Reagan

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Newt Gingrich took the stage at CPAC today, and both chastised Democrats for going around talking about how much they love Ronald Reagan.McConnell described in his speech the “bizarre transformation” in Washington recently — “Olbermann is out, and Reagan is in.” He said that a lot of Democrats have been taking to the cable news channels lately, and you hear them “saying nice things about Ronald Reagan.”

You know why they’re doing it, McConnell continued. “They want you to forget what they’ve been up to the past two years.” But, he said, “We will not let the people who have spent the last two years trying to turn this country into France walk away form their record.”

McConnell warned CPAC that conservatives should never confuse what’s popular with what’s right and that as lawmakers, they didn’t “sign an oath to uphold what is popular,” they promised to “uphold the Constitution.”

Gingrich touted his personal relationship with Reagan, and derided a recent Time magazine cover that compared Obama to Reagan.”I knew Ronald Reagan,” Newt said, aping the withering line Lloyd Bensten used against Dan Quayle in a 1988 vice presidential debate, and the crowd went wild when he added: “Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan.”

But, he said, if Obama actually comes to the center and makes certain compromises, perhaps he could be invited to keynote CPAC next year. Among those comprises? Repealing health care reform, signing tort reform, permanently repealing the death tax, ending “taxpayer funding abortions,” giving power back to the states, and enacting border control.

Gingrich also railed against President Obama’s handling of terrorism, in what were probably the first shades of Islamophobia in the CPAC speeches so far: “This is an administration that doesn’t even have the courage to tell us who wants to kill us.” He added that this administration has been “wrong on terrorism,” and “wrong on the Muslim Brotherhood.”