The executive director of the Ronald W. Reagan Foundation and Institute told Breitbart News that if President Donald Trump continues to use the Reagan playbook, he will overcome setbacks and will succeed as a president.
“Everyone looks back at the Reagan years as some kind of unrelenting series of wins. It was not, but President Reagan never gave up and he never lost his focus–I see the same traits in President Trump,” said John Heubusch, who has led the foundation since May 2009.
“Trump’s health care bill setback is a big deal. It ranks up there with having a Supreme Court nominee rejected or having a veto overridden, which happened to Reagan–and Reagan is still considered the most successful president since FDR,” said the author of the new best-selling novel The Shroud Conspiracy.
These are still two very different men, he said.
“I don’t see any validity in trying to create a comparison of Trump and Reagan. They are such remarkably different characters in so many ways. However, there are incredible similarities in respect to their agendas,” he said.
“There is no way I would know if it’s true, but I suspect President Trump’s senior aides have a copy somewhere, maybe in their glove compartment or in a drawer of their desks, they have a copy of the Reagan blueprint or the Reagan playbook,” said the former COO of Gateway Computer and executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
“It is everything from less taxes, less regulations, small government, strong defense, it’s those four major pillars that Ronald Reagan governed by, and although we are living in a different age right now, it’s the very same principles that Donald Trump is bringing forward in his first 100 days,” he said.
The recent Trump budget is broadly similar to the budget that Reagan would have submitted, he said. “It’s reducing federal agencies, it’s the federal hiring freeze–that fits with small government–it’s less regulations and his approach to eliminate two regulations for every new one created.”
Heubusch said he would not be surprised to learn that senior staffers around the president studied the success of Reagan’s first 100 days, and then his two terms in the White House, and modeled their own rollout of the Trump administration on the Reagan model.
As Trump moves forward, he cannot lose sight of the fact that Reagan never had a GOP-controlled House of Representatives, he said. “We were always 25-to-30 seats behind,” he said.
“Reagan was in a position, where you have to compromise on certain things to get his programs through. Trump right now not only has the White House, but also the Congress. He’s got majorities in both houses and as long as he is careful about how he proceeds, he can potentially score some wins as bold as what Reagan was able to deliver,” Heusbusch added.
Another similarity is that Reagan and Trump are in some ways equally great communicators, he said.
“Technology has had an incredibly important role here,” he said. Heusbusch went on:
When Reagan was known as the ‘Great Communicator,’ as an actor, as a practiced General Electric spokesman, he really was. But the way he got things done was he went over the heads of Congress and the mainstream media and spoke directly to the people, and as a result, he was able to move his agenda through Congress by essentially shutting down the switchboards to the Capitol. There were so many people calling and writing in to support President Reagan.
“Reagan created a tidal wave of support to get his plans through,” he added.
“Over 35 years later, Donald Trump is exercising new technology for the same purpose,” he said.
“Trump has the Internet and his Tweets and the ability to speak to tens of millions of people and to get his message out unfiltered and his agenda across and see it through.”