Donald Trump Compares Himself To Ronald Reagan, Spins Trying To Bulldoze Widow’s Home

Republican Presidential nominee hopeful Donald Trump made the rounds of the Sunday morning political shows this week, bringing his patented brand of mud-slinging, political spin with him. NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd immediately put Donald Trump on the defensive by airing a new Ted Cruz ad. The ad accuses Trump of using eminent domain to get powerful business connections to “bulldoze the home of an elderly widow.” The ad claims that Donald Trump won’t change the system because he’s what’s wrong with it. Trump denied the claims made by the ad.

“I have to tell you his ad is wrong, because I never knocked down that house. I wanted to get that house to build a major building that would have employed tremendous numbers of people, but then the woman didn’t want to sell, ultimately I just said, ‘Forget about it.’ So he’s got me bulldozing down a house, I never bulldozed it down. It’s false advertising.”

Trump has selective memory
[Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images]

Newsweek disagrees with Donald Trump’s recollection of events. According to Newsweek, Vera Cooking, kept her home, but not because Donald Trump gave up. In 1994, the state of New Jersey tried to condemn Cooking’s home and transfer it Donald Trump for a low price. Reportedly, Trump intended to build limousine parking on Cooking’s property to service his Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel. While it’s not an outright lie for Donald Trump to say he didn’t bulldoze the home, it’s not accurate to say that he walked away on his own. Playing fast and loose with events past and present is nothing new for Donald Trump. After the National Review urged conservative voters to turn their backs on him, Donald Trump dismissed them as a failing magazine and urged his followers to do the same. Trump congratulated himself on successfully predicting the decline of the National Review in a tweet posted to his official Twitter account.

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But Trump fails to mention that the article he linked to was written in January, 2014, two years before the National Review‘s run in with Trump.

As the interview continued, Donald Trump compared himself to former President Ronald Reagan, saying that Reagan started as a Democrat and eventually became a conservative Republican.

“And what I say to people is this: Ronald Reagan. He was a somewhat liberal Democrat, and over the years, he evolved and he became fairly conservative. Not overly, a fairly conservative Republican… But I use the term Ronald Reagan, I use the name Ronald Reagan, and that’s pretty good to me.”

Donald Trump compared imself to Ronald Regan
(Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

By evoking the name Ronald Regan, Donald Trump may have opened himself to more criticism. Aside from his dismissive and often ugly rhetoric, critics often accuse Trump of being too politically inexperienced for the presidency. While Reagan was a Democrat in his youth, he’d been a Republican for nearly 20 years by the time he became governor of California. By the time he was elected president in 1980, Ronald Reagan had been an active Republican politician for 14 years. By contrast, Donald Trump has refused to answer questions about when he joined the Republican party and has never been elected to public office. The Washington Post estimates that, based on his campaign donations, Donald Trump has been a Republican since 2007.

But even Donald Trump struggled to spin his missing tax returns. When Todd noted that Trump is the only potential nominee who hasn’t released his tax returns, Trump said that his team is working on it, but that his returns are “complicated.” Trump then pivoted and said that he paid as little in taxes as possible because he hates the way the government spends tax money.

[Photo via AP Photo/Mary Altaffer]