CNN Panel Likens Trump-Ramos Exchange to Reagan’s 1980 ‘I Paid for This Microphone’ Moment

On Tuesday’s “CNN Tonight,” host Don Lemon reacted to an exchange between GOP front-runner Donald Trump and Univision’s Jorge Ramos, who was in attendance at a press conference Trump was conducting before a Dubuque, IA rally.

Lemon likened that moment to Ronald Reagan’s famous “I paid for this microphone” moment in Nashua, NH in February 1980, prior to the 1980 election’s New Hampshire primary.

Partial transcript as follows:

LEMON: Douglas Brinkley, let’s talk about history and how it repeats itself sometimes. I want to play a clip from Ronald Reagan. This is at the 1980 presidential primary debate. Let’s listen.


RONALD REAGAN: You asked if you could make an announcement first and I asked you.

JON BREEN: Would the sound man please turn Mr. Reagan’s mic off?

REAGAN: Is this on? Mr. Breen, you asked me — I paid for this microphone!


LEMON: Douglas Brinkley immediately, I thought of that. Reagan said he believed this incident is what helped take him to the White House. What is this going do for Donald Trump?

BRINKLEY: I immediately thought of that too, Don. I heard you mention it earlier. It rang that Reagan bell. I think it helps Trump. He is beating up on the liberal media, beating up on Univision. Trump has a lawsuit with them. The thing is this may not be the Ronald Reagan we have that one moment there in New Hampshire in 1980. This may be the first of many more for Donald Trump. He seems to be able to manipulate the age of Twitter, the age of cable television, the age of the media moment like nobody else’s business. And I can only tell you the good news for CNN on, September 16, the ratings will be very high. Jeb Bush and the others will have to go after Trump he is and a master of the putdown.

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