Exclusive: Nancy Reagan Strongly Endorses President Bush
Phil Brennan, NewsMax.com
Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004
In a statement made Monday to NewsMax.com, Nancy Reagan said she was strongly endorsing President Bush’s re-election and rejected a published Internet report that she was not backing his run for a second term.
Joanne Drake, the chief of staff for former President Ronald Reagan’s office in Los Angeles, said in a statement on behalf of the former first lady, “Mrs. Reagan supports President Bush?s re-election 150 percent.”
Published reports have suggested that Mrs. Reagan was unhappy with President Bush for his opposition to taxpayer-funded stem cell research that kills human embryos, which Mrs. Reagan has supported after her husband’s long bout with Alzheimer’s disease.
Mrs. Reagan’s son Ron spoke last week at the Democratic National Convention. He indicated that his mother supported his speech and that she was unhappy with the Bush administration for its stand on embryonic stem cell research.
Ron Reagan gave an implicit endorsement to the Kerry-Edwards ticket, which supports taxpayer funding of that type of research, when he told his national audience, “Whatever else you do come Nov. 2, I urge you, please, cast a vote for embryonic stem cell research.”
Drake, however, noted in her statement on behalf of Mrs. Reagan, “I think everyone would understand that while she may not agree with the president on every issue, this campaign is more than just one issue — it’s about leadership, and she believes that President Bush is the right man for the job.”
Mrs. Reagan’s statement came on the heels of a report published Friday on the Web site capitolhillblue.com.
That story, headlined “Nancy Reagan to Bush: ‘We Don’t Support Your Re-Election,'” quoted a “spokesman” for Mrs. Reagan as telling the site, “Mrs. Reagan does not support President Bush’s re-election and neither do most members of the President’s family.”
Drake also denied the Web site’s claim that Mrs. Reagan told Republican leaders she wanted nothing to do with the party or President Bush, or that she “went ballistic” when she learned the Bush campaign was test marketing ads that used Reagan’s photos and speeches in an effort to show he supported Bush and his re-election.
Capitolhillblue.com also claimed that Mrs. Reagan called Republican Party chief Ed Gillespie to demand the ads be destroyed.
“The quote that appeared in Capitol Hill Blue is incorrect,” Drake said on behalf of Mrs. Reagan. “Further, I do not know where the information came from [indicating that] the former first lady went ballistic when she read the Bush campaign was test marketing new ads. She did not speak to Ed Gillespie on the telephone and demand the ads be destroyed …”
By endorsing President Bush’s re-election, Mrs. Reagan joins President Reagan’ elder son, Michael, who has already announced his strong support for the president’s re-election.