Fox May Cheerlead Romney-Ryan Ticket, But It's Still All About Ronald Reagan

››› ››› MIKE BURNS

Fox News figures have routinely invoked Ronald Reagan while discussing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan. Most recently, Fox compared Ryan to the former president by splicing together their quotes and saying that Ryan and Reagan are physically and ideologically similar.

Fox Runs Montage Splicing Together Quotes From Ryan And Reagan

Fox Spliced Ryan And Reagan Quotes Together To Suggest Ryan Is Just Like Reagan. America Live host Megyn Kelly aired a segment comparing Ryan to Reagan by splicing their quotes together, saying that Ryan sounds and thinks like Reagan.

 Ryan

[Media Matters8/14/12

Michael Reagan: "Paul Ryan Is One Of Those People Who Studied Ronald Reagan, But Also Grew Up In The Midwest, Just Like Ronald Reagan." Following the montage, Kelly interviewed Reagan's son, conservative radio host and frequent Fox guest Michael Reagan, who said that "Paul Ryan is one of those people who studied Ronald Reagan, but also grew up in the Midwest, just like Ronald Reagan." [Fox News, America Live, 8/14/12]

"Reaganesque," "Hipper Gipper": Fox Has Routinely Invoked Reagan In Discussing Ryan

Megyn Kelly: Some Say That Ryan Has "Reaganesque Attributes." Kelly said that "[n]ow that Governor Romney has named Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, we are hearing some comparisons of Congressman Ryan to former President Reagan," adding: "Some saying the Wisconsin lawmaker has Reaganesque attributes and that Mr. Romney's pick is turning this presidential contest into a 1980 Reagan election about ideas." [Fox News, America Live, 8/13/12]

Guy Benson: "Paul Ryan Is A Lot Like Reagan." Appearing as a guest on America Live, Townhall political editor Guy Benson claimed the reason Ryan's favorability ratings have increased "is because Paul Ryan is a lot like Reagan." He added that while he wasn't born when Reagan was inaugurated the second time, "I've watched a lot of his speeches and the thing that always struck me and strikes me about Reagan when I watch those speeches is how naturally sunny, affable, and optimistic he is. Paul Ryan is that way, too." [Fox News, America Live, 8/13/12]

Neil Cavuto: "Some Are Calling" Ryan "This Generation's 'Hipper Gipper.' " On Your World, host Neil Cavuto said, "Thirty-one years to the day after Ronnie, talk among Republicans he's come back in the name of a guy named Ryan." After airing a montage splicing together quotes by both men in an attempt to show the likeness between Ryan and Reagan, Cavuto said that "some are calling" Ryan "this generation's hipper Gipper." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 8/13/12]

Art Laffer: Ryan "Is The Reincarnation" Of Reagan. During an appearance on Your World, Fox regular and Reagan administration economist Art Laffer said that Ryan "is the reincarnation" of Reagan, adding: "He's as good as it gets, and I'm so pleased with Romney for picking him." [Fox News,Your World with Neil Cavuto, 8/13/12]

Fox Highlighted Ryan Shouting Down Heckler, Then Shows Reagan Snapping At Debate Moderator. On America Live, after Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said that Ryan handled a heckler well, Kelly played a video clip of Reagan snapping, "I'm paying for this microphone" to a debate moderator in 1980. [Fox News, America Live, 8/14/12]

Charles Krauthammer: Ryan Is "Like Reagan In That First Debate With Carter." Appearing on The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said of Ryan: "He's extremely affable, he's non-threatening, he's very sensible, he's young-looking, he's an attractive guy. It's like Reagan in that first debate with Carter, that only debate with Carter, where, you know, he'd been demonized as this extremist." He continued:

KRAUTHAMMER: And the polls -- people forget -- the polls were very close, Carter and Reagan, after the debate where he said to Carter, there you go again, showed himself not to have horns. The election was over. It became a landslide. Now, Ryan does not have Reagan's charm, but he's not threatening and he's very smart. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 8/14/12]

Chris Stirewalt: "Romney Ratifies Reagan With Ryan Pick." In a FoxNews.com column, Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt wrote that "Ryan is in full the ideological heir to Reagan's movement," adding that Romney's pick of Ryan "is the strongest sign yet that Romney is ratifying Reagan's worldview." From Stirewalt's column, headlined "Romney Ratifies Reagan with Ryan Pick":

By selecting Ryan as his running mate, though, Romney is seeking to return to the paradigm for the election that Democrats had envisioned before they got their tails kicked in 2010: Reaganism vs. Obamism.

Ryan is in full the ideological heir to Reagan's movement. Other national Republican figures have cast themselves as partners with Reagan (Newt Gingrich) or as a "foot soldier in the Reagan revolution" (John McCain), but Ryan's career has been spent in a political world of Reagan's making. 

[...]

This is significant right now because it is the strongest sign yet that Romney is ratifying Reagan's worldview. Moderate Romney famously said in his 1994 senatorial campaign that he wasn't a "Reagan-Bush" conservative. By taking Ryan, though, Romney pays homage to The Gipper in a way that has enlivened the GOP base and allayed some lingering doubts about how he would govern. [FoxNews.com, 8/13/12]

Fox Has Also Repeatedly Invoked Reagan While Discussing Romney

KT McFarland: "With A Romney-Ryan Ticket, It's Like Reagan Again." Discussing Romney's pick of Ryan, Fox News national security analyst KT McFarland said that "with a Romney-Ryan ticket, it's like Reagan again," adding: "It's like saying, we've got big problems, we can solve big problems." [Fox News, America's News HQ, 8/11/12]

Bill O'Reilly: "Romney Is Going To Mirror The Ghost Of Ronald Reagan." On The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly said "the Republican platform seems to be that they're going to lower taxes just like Ronald Reagan did. And remember, when Reagan did all that bringing the tax rate for the affluent down from 70 to 28 percent, the economy did revive." He added: "So Romney is going to mirror the ghost of Ronald Reagan." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 7/10/12]

Laffer: "Mitt Romney Today Is As Good As Ronald Reagan Was As This Exact" Point In His Campaign. Discussing the economy and presidential election, Laffer said, "I think Mitt Romney today is as good as Ronald Reagan was as this exact same time," adding: "I think Mitt Romney is fine." He continued:

LAFFER: I think what he's proposed is pretty good. If you look at the proposal on the tax cuts, it's very similar. He's proposed all sorts of policies out there that are very explicit. I mean, you know, with the fence and all of that, I think Mitt Romney's done a great job, and I think Ronald Reagan did as well. But Ronald Reagan evolved into being really great, and I think Mitt Romney has the potential of being really great as well. [Fox News, Happening Now, 8/8/12]

Cavuto: With Foreign Tour, "Is Mitt Romney Channeling Ronald Reagan?" On Your World, Cavuto asked, "Is Mitt Romney channeling Ronald Reagan?" [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 7/25/12]

Fox News: "Hints Of Reagan As Gov Romney Brings Bus Tour Through Battleground States." Reporting on Romney's bus tour, Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron said that the candidate "spen[t] a lot of time yesterday sort of echoing Ronald Reagan and taking a six-state bus tour across the heartland, using it to sort of court rural voters." On-screen text during the segment read: "Hints of Reagan as Gov Romney brings bus tour through battleground states." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 6/18/12]

And Fox Has Routinely Invoked Reagan To Attack Obama

Fox Covered Obama's Campaign Launch By Lionizing Reagan. On May 5, Obama officially kicked off his reelection campaign with a rally at Ohio State University. In the time it took Obama to finish his remarks, Fox aired several news segments, including a sit-down with Rep. Peter King (R-NY) about how the White House is supposedly screwing up the "war on terror," and a piece on how Obama should be more like Reagan. [Media Matters5/5/12]

Fox Decided That Reagan Loved America, Unlike Obama. On America Live, Kelly hosted pollster Scott Rasmussen and Michael Reagan to discuss comments from Rick Santorum that Obama "doesn't believe America is a source for good." The segment featured a Rasmussen poll purporting to show that Americans agree with Santorum's assessment. The segment went on to falsely claim that Reagan never apologized for America, and insinuated that Obama doesn't love the country that elected him. [Media Matters, 3/21/12]

Fox Made "Stupid" Comparison Of Obama Recovery To Reagan's. An America's Newsroom segment distorted economic history to criticize Obama's record on jobs creation, using what Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has called "a stupid comparison" to Reagan. But Reagan was aided by an increase in government spending and public sector employment, as well as drastic cuts to interest rates. [Media Matters8/3/12]

Fox Guest Bizarrely Invoked Reagan To Attack Obama Over Iran Policy. Fox guest and former CIA operative Wayne Simmons invoked Reagan to call for the Obama administration to take harsh action against Iran, ignoring Reagan's actual history with Iran -- namely that the former president's administration sent weapons to Iran in what became the Iran-Contra scandal. [Media Matters, 10/12/11]

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