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.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place