And of course, Romney is no Reagan either. None of the current crop of Republican candidates is; indeed, none of them are even close to being the next Reagan. To be sure, were Reagan alive, he would tell Romney. Gingrich, Santorum and Paul to refrain from trying to be the next Reagan, and to just be themselves, letting the voters decide which candidate can best carry the banner for the GOP. “Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else,” Judy Garland said, and she was quite right to say it.
But it is worth noting the degree to which Gingrich’s rhetoric about being a Reagan conservative contrasts with reality. And the reality is that Gingrich did not loom large in the minds of actual Reaganites. Not by any stretch of the imagination. To the extent that Gingrich portrays himself as a seminal figure in Reagan’s work to change America and the world for the better, he is simply misrepresenting the facts. And he ought to be punished for his dishonesty when the time comes for Florida voters to go to the polls.
More on this issue here.