Patti Davis, the daughter of the late President Ronald Reagan, said her father ― had he lived to witness Donald Trump’s presidency ― would be “horrified” by the state of the U.S. and the Republican Party today.
“I think he would be horrified … I think he would be heartbroken — because he loved this country a lot and he believed in this country,” she said of her dad during an appearance on “Through Her Eyes,” a weekly Yahoo News show hosted by human rights activist Zainab Salbi.
Davis, an author and a former actress, pulled no punches in her assessment of the Trump presidency. She said he was endangering democracy and was dividing the nation.
“Everything he says is divisive. Look at his rallies,” she told Salbi.
The 66-year-old Davis said Trump “talks like an autocrat,” “befriends autocrats” and “supports autocrats.”
“He wants to be one,” she declared.
“How about the crickets when Trump keeps assaulting the Constitution?” she said. “I mean, they don’t say anything. They don’t stand up to him.”
Davis is no stranger to the political fray. As an antinuclear advocate in the 1980s, she spoke publicly against some of her father’s policies when he was president.
She told Salbi that she reconciled with her father, who died in 2004 after a protracted battle with Alzheimer’s, toward the end of his life.
“I feel that I did get a chance to apologize to my father, in this sort of mysterious realm that Alzheimer’s puts you in,” Davis said.
In a tender 2018 Washington Post op-ed remembering him, Davis wrote that she missed the “dignity” that her father “brought to the task of leading this country, the deep respect he had for our democracy.”
Her dad, she said at the time, would be “appalled and heartbroken at a Congress that refuses to stand up to a president who not only seems ignorant of the Constitution but who also attempts at every turn to dismantle and mock our system of checks and balances.”
“I think he would remind us that America began as a dream in the minds of men who dared to envision a land that was free of tyranny, with a government designed and structured so that no one branch of government could dominate the others,” she wrote.