Ronald Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, says she would never have stood for President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press.
Her comments were published in a column on The Washington Post’s website Wednesday.
“The verbal sparring between my father and Sam Donaldson of ABC, or Helen Thomas of UPI, is well documented,” she said. “But there was never vitriol, there was never name-calling, and if anyone had attacked a journalist, my father would have been the first to stand in the way.”
She noted that she has tried to imagine what her father would have done if people attending a political speech had heckled or threatened members of the media.
“I found it difficult to conjure the image, and then I realized why,” she said. “It simply wouldn’t have happened. The person on the podium, the person everyone has gathered to see, sets the tone.
“President Trump has quite successfully set today’s tone. He expertly stirred up the anger that was already simmering in the people who support him, and then he lit a match to it. He gave them an enemy — always a useful tactic. And naming the press as the enemy has precedents: Many tyrants have employed it to their advantage.”
She pointed out “brazen, unwavering commitment” created America.
“And one of those commitments was to a free press — one not controlled or hampered by a demagogue who has a good day only when he’s being flattered,” she said.
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