The Corner

Politics & Policy

Smearing the Gipper

Nancy and Ronald Reagan at an inaugural gala, 1985 (National Archives)

On Friday night, the Reverend Robert Jeffress went on Fox News to defend, or explain, his support of Donald Trump and that of many evangelicals. In doing so, he said something passing strange.

Jeffress referred to Ronald Reagan as a “known womanizer.” He further said, “The reason we supported President Reagan was not because we supported womanizing or divorce. We supported his policies.”

To read an article about Jeffress and his Fox appearance, go here.

Reagan a womanizer? You ever heard that? Neither has anyone else who knows about the man. I e-mailed Lou Cannon, the Reagan biographer, who replied, “Reagan dated widely after his divorce before he met Nancy. I don’t think he looked at another woman after that. Neither of his wives ever accused him of infidelity. Definitely NOT a womanizer.”

I can tell you something about Reagan and divorce. It comes from WFB. (While William F. Buckley Jr. was here with us, National Review writers usually referred to him by his initials, when writing for the magazine, and I have continued the tradition.)

Once, in a private discussion, someone said to Reagan, “Well, you got divorced.” Flaring, he shot back, “I didn’t divorce anyone. She divorced me.” That was very important to him — a truthful record.

Anyway, support Trump all you want, but leave Reagan out of it, I say.  

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