updated 6/8/2004 10:46:35 AM ET 2004-06-08T14:46:35

Guests: Richard Allen, Robert McFarlane, Ed Gillespie, Martin Anderson, Dana Rohrabacher, Dan Burton

PAT BUCHANAN, GUEST HOST:  The nation began its final farewell today to our 40th president, Ronald Wilson Reagan, joining with the former first lady in grieving for their loss. 

You‘re looking live as mourners pay their respects tonight at the Reagan Library in California, where the president‘s flag-draped casket lies in repose. 

Tonight, we‘ll look at the Reagan legacy, from his bold stand against communism, to his unwavering belief in free markets and cutting taxes.  We‘ll talk to two congressmen who are proud veterans of the Reagan revolution and hear from the Republican Party chairman on how the president reshaped the Republican Party for a generation.  

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  I‘m Pat Buchanan.  Joe is on his way back from Normandy. 

But we‘re going to devote tonight‘s show to remembering Ronald Reagan. 

First, let‘s go live to NBC‘s James Hattori, who‘s at the Reagan Presidential Library, where the former president‘s body is lying in repose. 

JAMES HATTORI, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Good evening, Patrick. 

You can see behind me the buses have been arriving steadily over the past seven hours, shuttling mourners from a nearby parking area at a rate, we are told, of 1,800 per hour.  And, at times, there‘s been a wait just to get on the bus of two hours, a tremendous outpouring of affection, not only among Californians, but other mourners from other states who have made their way to the Reagan Library. 

Let‘s take a look at a picture, the live picture we‘ve been showing all day of the casket in repose inside the library, where mourners are getting just a brief, quiet moment as they slowly walk by the casket.  A military honor guard is posted nearby and has been all day. 

The body of the former president arrived this morning carried by a motorcade from a mortuary in Santa Monica on a route that included Ronald Reagan Freeway leading into Simi Valley here.  Prior to the public viewing, there was a private ceremony held for Reagan family members and a few close friends.  Perhaps the most poignant moment of the day, at the end, Nancy Reagan placed her cheek gently on the flag-draped coffin, symbolic of their close, loving relationship. 

But the rest of the day was set aside for members of the public, the general public, to pay their respects to the former president. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  To have my kids have this experience and remember it for the rest of their lives.  And he was my favorite president.  It meant a lot to me.  But I realize this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I put my hand on my heart.  I wanted to do something to show my respect. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HATTORI:  The casket will remain in repose here at the library all night tonight until 6:00 p.m. Tomorrow, a total of 30 hours, during which time anybody, anybody, can come up and pay their respects and view the casket. 

And it‘s apropos, Patrick, I‘m sure you would agree for a man, a president whose appeal was so greatly taken in by the every man and every woman—Patrick.

BUCHANAN:  James, thank you very much for that fine report. 

President Ronald Reagan swept into Washington on the crest of a 44-state landslide in 1980 with bold ideas for a revolution in American politics. 

With me now are two of the revolutionaries, Congressman Dan Burton, Republican from Indiana, and a former Reagan speechwriter, now Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California. 

Dana, tell us in just a few words, what was the Reagan revolution? 

REP. DANA ROHRABACHER ®, CALIFORNIA:  Well, the Reagan revolution was a turnabout, a great turnabout, a revolution, if you will, in the direction our country was taking. 

We were headed into a great pit, and everybody knew it.  It was despair.  It was darkness.  It was defeat.  And Ronald Reagan turned that into—turned our country back heading toward the light and gave us a sense of optimism.  That was the Reagan revolution.  And he did it with a plan, not just a persona.  His persona was important, but it was a plan that made sense and actually accomplished the goals that he set out to achieve, a more prosperous country, a more secure country. 

BUCHANAN:  Dan Burton, tell us how you and where you joined the revolution and met the commander in chief. 

REP. DAN BURTON ®, INDIANA:  Well, I was elected in 1983, and I was so impressed with his goal to cut taxes and get the country back on a sound economic footing and to destroy the evil empire, the communist menace that we all faced. 

But the thing that made the most impression on me was when I got elected in 1983 and I promised my mother, who was a waitress, that I would take her in the front door of the White House to meet the president if I ever did get elected.  And I took her in for a cursory meeting with the president.  And it was a big day for her.  And Reagan had contacted my office and got all kinds of information about me. 

And when we walked in, he spent about 10 or 15 minutes with us, and he made my mom think that I was the greatest congressman in the U.S. Congress, and he put his arm around me and told her all the great things I had done.  And he made her the proudest mother.  And until the day she died, she carried that picture of all of us together with the president. 

And I‘ll tell you, that day, he made me the happiest man alive.  He‘s just—I wish everybody in America could know what a wonderful man he was, in addition to being a great president. 

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

Let me—I‘ve got to ask Dana Rohrabacher.

You‘ve got to tell the story again, Dana.  I know you‘ve probably told it, about how the first time you met Ronald Reagan and where you were and how it all came about. 

(LAUGHTER)

ROHRABACHER:  Well, I, of course, was a volunteer in his first campaign for governor when I was still a teenager.  And after the primary campaign, there was all this talk about eliminating Youth For Reagan and incorporating into the larger adult organization.  And I was crestfallen. 

So I thought I had to talk to Ronald Reagan himself about this horrible atrocity. 

(LAUGHTER)

ROHRABACHER:  And so I hiked up to Ronald Reagan‘s house at 2:00 in the morning.  He lived in Pacific Palisades.  There were no guards around.  I camped out on his back lawn and I had a little sign with me.  And then, when Nancy stuck her head out about 7:00 in the morning, said, who are you?  And I had a little sign that said, “Ronald Reagan, please speak to me.”

And I told her I was a Youth For Reagan and had to see him for just two minutes, just two minutes.  And she said, look, if Ronnie comes out here, he‘s going to miss his breakfast.  I know he‘ll spend more time with you.  Please, if you leave now, I‘ll get you appointment with the campaign manager.  So off I go.  I took the deal.

And I‘m walking down this long driveway he had at Pacific Palisades. 

And behind me, I hear this sound and it‘s Ronald Reagan running after me.  His shirt‘s half off.  He‘s got shaving cream on his face.  And he goes, wait a minute, wait a minute.  If you can camp out in my back lawn overnight, I can spend a few minutes with you. 

(LAUGHTER)

BURTON:  He was a great guy. 

BUCHANAN:  He was‘s a wonderful man. 

BURTON:  He‘s wonderful.

BUCHANAN:  Let me ask you this, both of you.

And let me ask—Dan Burton, I‘ll start with you. 

The Reagan revolution, it clearly was to confront and challenge the Soviet empire.  It was to cut taxes.  It was reduce the burden of government.  It was to let the American eagle soar.  How long did the Reagan revolution last and is it enduring now? 

BURTON:  Oh, I think it lasted for 10, 15, 20 years. 

I mean, the economic impact of his tax cuts and the growth in the economy that took off because of that is immeasurable.  He did a fantastic job in getting this economy moving again and creating an optimism in this country that‘s lasted, I think, to this day. 

(CROSSTALK)

ROHRABACHER:  He ignited the prosperity that we are still enjoying today, with a few little blips down the line.  But what‘s most important, he mobilized millions, tens of millions of Americans.  He captured them and brought them into the fold.  And they are keeping America on the right track. 

Had he not been there, those people wouldn‘t be putting their political efforts in that direction.  So he‘s ensured the freedom of our country and these goals for many years ahead. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, what do you think is the indispensable quality or element of Ronald Reagan that made him so different from others?  I mean, we‘ve got a president who‘s the oldest president in history who comes here as a revolutionary.  That is ironic.  What was the indispensable element that Reagan had? 

BURTON:  Honesty, sincerity, and a man who had goals that he wasn‘t going to deviate from.  He decided he knew what needed to be done to get this country back on the right track, and he did it.  And he would not let anybody get him off track. 

BUCHANAN:  Have we lost the way at all?  I know the 1994 revolution—maybe you don‘t agree with me, Dana—I think that was clearly an extension of the Reagan revolution.  Has some of the energy and fire of that revolution dissipated? 

ROHRABACHER:  Well, if we would have had a president who would have gone along with the major reforms that were needed in 1994, it would have been the culmination of the Reagan revolution.  Unfortunately, we had a liberal Democrat president during that period of time, so what we could accomplish was very limited. 

But let‘s face it, we won the Cold War.  This is an incredible accomplishment.  And the economic progress, yes, we weren‘t able to achieve everything.  But the fact is that it would have been so much worse without Reagan.  And with the Soviet Union gone, well, we have challenges today that we‘ve got to meet those challenges.  But the world‘s a much safer place. 

BURTON:  You know, there‘s one thing—you know, everybody talks about the Berlin Wall speech.  I was in Namibia monitoring the elections for the president when they had these free elections back when the Berlin Wall was coming down.  And I walked into a German beer garden.  They had a German area over there.

And everybody was dancing around, singing, and had signs out.  And I said, what is this, a party?  What‘s going on? 

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

BURTON:  They said, haven‘t you heard?  The Berlin Wall is coming down.  And the first thing that popped into my mind was, he did it.  He did it.  He did it. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  It is astonishing, Dana.  You were with President Reagan when we had a hollow Army and when the Soviet empire was on the march all over the world and the United States is in retreat and there‘s Euro-communism.  Eight years later, the mighty empire collapses without firing a shot. 

ROHRABACHER:  And let us note—this is what‘s most important—it didn‘t happen on its own.  Ronald Reagan fought very tough battles, policy battles, in order to do the things that were necessary to help those people struggling against communism and rebuild our defenses.

And there‘s this myth being created about a bipartisanship in foreign policy that defeated the Soviet Union.  Ronald Reagan took personal abuse.  He was attacked by the very same people who are attacking our president today.  He was belittled.  He was called stupid, just like they‘re calling our president today.  And had he not kept a positive attitude and kept pushing towards his goal and not been deterred by these detractors, we wouldn‘t have won the Cold War and it would have been a much worse world. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, thank you, Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman. 

And, Congressman Dan Burton, thanks for joining us. 

Coming up, Reaganomics brought about the largest peacetime expansion of the American economy in history.  We‘ll talk to two of his advisers about why it worked. 

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  As president, Ronald Reagan touched many people‘s lives, from world leaders to the man on the street.  Send your memories of the great communicator to Joe@MSNBC.com.  He‘ll read them on the air later this week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Back in 1980, when I was running for president, it was all so different.  Some pundits said our programs would result in catastrophe.  I even remember one highly respected economist saying back in 1982 that the engines of economic growth have shut down here and they‘re likely to stay that way for years to come. 

Well, he and the other opinion leaders were wrong.  The fact is, what they called radical was really right.  What they called dangerous was just desperately needed. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCHANAN:  What you saw there is Ronald Reagan‘s farewell address, at least a part of it, in 1989, when he left the presidency and went home to California. 

Joining me now, Lawrence Kudlow, co-host of CNBC‘s “Kudlow & Kramer,” who‘s an economic adviser to President Reagan, and Marty Anderson, an old friend and senior domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan. 

Let me start with you, Larry Kudlow.  When did he embrace with almost religious fervor this idea of tax cuts even in the teeth of a deficit to get this economy in this country moving again to the point where it is now an article of faith of the Republican Party? 

LAWRENCE KUDLOW, CO-HOST, “KUDLOW & CRAMER”:  Well, of course, my colleague tonight, Marty Anderson, knows more about this, or maybe I should say has forgotten more than any of the rest of us know, because he was with the president.

But, in the late 1970s, President Reagan developed a supply-side tax-cutting program.  But I would amend a little bit.  At that time—Marty, correct me if I‘m wrong—the budget committees in Congress were actually predicting large surpluses into the 1980s. 

MARTIN ANDERSON, FORMER REAGAN DOMESTIC ADVISER:  That‘s one thing that every economist has forgotten. 

KUDLOW:  Well, see, I‘ve learned my lessons rather well. 

(LAUGHTER)

KUDLOW:  But I think that the key point here, Pat, is that we had suffered from stagflation and no investment for about 10 or a dozen years.  The unemployment rate went up.  The inflation rate went up.  And the liberal Keynesian economists were utterly baffled how to cope with this. 

The president‘s program came in.  It was very simple.  Tax rate reduction would improve economic incentives to grow the economy and a hard dollar would reduce inflation.  And Reagan worked very well with Volcker.  And with all the naysayers out there, this program launched a 20-year prosperity. 

BUCHANAN:  OK, Marty, you want to respond to that?  It‘s...

ANDERSON:  Yes.  Let me just add one thing. 

What he says is absolutely correct.  But there‘s actually more to it. 

In some sense, Ronald Reagan was not a supply-sider.  He was a Reaganite.  And he had a program that had five steps to it.  And two of the steps—well, one was cutting taxes.

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

ANDERSON:  And one was having a solid monetary policy.

But the first one was controlling spending as much as he could, and he really worked on that.  And the third one was regulatory reform, which he did in spades.  And the fifth one, which no one paid any attention to, he said, look, once we do this, don‘t change it.  And our basic theory was that even if you put in a bad economic program and let it sit for a few years, Americans are very wise and they would figure ways to go over it and under it and around it and behind it. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, let me ask you both, is George W. Bush the heir in terms of ideas and philosophy to Ronald Reagan? 

Larry?

KUDLOW:  Well, I think he is, in many respects.  First of all, he himself has claimed that mantle, and I think that‘s terribly important. 

And, secondly, Bush has launched his own tax rate reduction, not so much on the personal income tax, because that had already been brought down, but more on investment taxes, capital gains and dividends and small businesses.  It‘s very, very important.  That‘s right out of the Reagan playbook, stop the double and triple taxation of capital and investment, which is the seed corn for businesses that create jobs. 

And I think Bush is also trying to get some deregulation going.  It‘s not easy in areas like energy.  And also, Bush is trying to finish off the Reagan trade agenda.  It was Reagan who launched the U.S.-Canadian Free Trade Agreement.  That was later expanded into the Mexican NAFTA.  I know, Pat, it‘s not your favorite.

(LAUGHTER)

KUDLOW:  And Bush is trying to move that into Central America and South America. 

(CROSSTALK)

KUDLOW:  So I think he is on the right track.

BUCHANAN:  I know he is. 

Let me get to Marty, though.

Marty, I want to ask you about spending. 

ANDERSON:  Sure. 

BUCHANAN:  President Bush has not abolished a single agency, shut down a single program or vetoed a single bill.  Is that Reaganomics? 

ANDERSON:  Yes, look, we tried to shut down a couple of departments ourselves and were largely unsuccessful. 

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

ANDERSON:  Let me just go back to what Reagan was doing.  He basically had a broad program.  And it worked.  But he also realized that you couldn‘t get everything you wanted.  He wanted to cut spending more than he got.  That was one of the things he just kept wishing we could get more of. 

But he got enough to make it work.  Now, coming back to Bush, I started working with him back in 1998.  And it was interesting the first private meetings we had.  He told us, in terms of the economy, he said, look, what I‘m interested in is the same thing that Reagan was interested in, steady economic growth and the growth of jobs.  Everything else follows and develops and goes into that. 

And he pursued that policy.  And I think, if you look at the major issues, whether it‘s taxation, the economy, national security, missile defense, Social Security, education, while they‘re very different people, his policies are very much the same as Reagan‘s. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, quickly, Larry Kudlow, can we expect the kind of 17-year boom that Ronald Reagan ignited from Bush tax cuts? 

KUDLOW:  I think it‘s very possible, Pat.  I think, right now, we‘re at the front end of a major economic boom led by investment.  And I think that is a direct response to the marginal tax rate incentives put in place a year ago. 

And let me add one other point.  Marty Anderson taught me this.  Ronald Reagan taught all of us this.  There‘s a linkage between a strong domestic economy throwing off the necessary sources to finance not only military buildup, but to send a message to our enemies, today the terrorists, in those days, the Soviets.  And that signal is, we have enough resources to do whatever it takes for however long it takes to defeat you.

And I think that‘s a crucial aspect, and Bush is following the same path as Reagan, thank heavens. 

ANDERSON:  Absolutely.

BUCHANAN:  OK, Lawrence Kudlow, Martin Anderson, thanks both for joining us. 

ANDERSON:  Thank you, sir. 

BUCHANAN:  Coming up next, the chairman of the Republican National Committee talks about how President Reagan dramatically reformed the Republican Party. 

Then Reagan brought down the evil empire by befriending its leader.  We‘ll talk about Reagan‘s Cold War legacy with two of his top national security advisers.  So don‘t go away. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Up next, RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie talks about the Reagan revolution and how he thinks President Bush was influenced by the Reagan presidency.

But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk. 

(NEWS BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN:  Let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world. 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil arming to threaten the peace of the world. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCHANAN:  That was President Bush identifying threats to America in terms reminisce enter of President Reagan‘s depictions of communism in the Cold War. 

I asked the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie, if George W. Bush was consciously modeling his presidency on Ronald Reagan‘s. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED GILLESPIE, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN:  Pat, I don‘t know if that‘s the case. 

I do know this.  Ronald Reagan has an incredible influence on our party today.  You know, he was first elected president 24 years ago.  And the party I lead now as chairman of the Republican National Party is very much Ronald Reagan‘s party.  And so any Republican president is going to stand on Ronald Reagan‘s shoulders.  He brought moral clarity to the Cold War. 

If you remember when he came in—and I remember it well.

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

GILLESPIE:  There was this notion of moral equivalence and the fact that, well, the Soviet system and the American system are different, but one is no better than the other.  They‘re just different.  And Ronald Reagan said, ours is a better system.  It promotes freedom.  It promotes opportunity for people.  It allows for people to express their religious faiths. 

George W. Bush has brought moral clarity to the war on terror.  It is clear that we are the ones who seek to liberate people, to foster freedom of religion, to foster people to have equal opportunities and rights.  That is not what the terrorists seek in this war directed against us. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, this is why he seems very—almost consciously, it seams to me, to have taken the example of a hugely successful Ronald Reagan, who did—and the Republican is the house that Ronald Reagan built.  But then you see, in the area of tax cuts, they are known as Reaganite.

And George Bush is the biggest tax cutter since Ronald Reagan. 

GILLESPIE:  Well, President Bush is a pro-growth Republican.  And Ronald Reagan created that mold of the pro-growth Republican and made the case that if, we brought down the tax rates, we would foster economic growth and he proved that to be true.  And certainly President Bush, all of us, anyone who looks at what happened, has to recognize that is the case.  And we‘re seeing it again today, by the way.

BUCHANAN:  Yes, and he doesn‘t seem to be modeling his presidency on Bush I. 

GILLESPIE:  Well, I don‘t—Pat, I‘m not trying to be argumentative.  I just don‘t know.  I think that President Bush is looking forward and has a vision that he is bringing to bear on his presidency.  I think it is a vision that is shaped both by his father and by President Reagan, but President Reagan clearly set the tone for the modern Republican Party.  He‘s the father of the modern Republican Party.

BUCHANAN:  And you are the chairman of the modern Republican Party. 

GILLESPIE:  I am. 

BUCHANAN:  And I want to ask you, what happened to the house that Reagan built, if you will, the great Reagan coalition, the new majority coalition from the ‘70s, 49-state landslide, ‘72 and ‘80 -- ‘84, rather, 44-straight landslide?  Even George Bush Sr. got a 40-state landslide.  What happened to the Reagan Democrats?

GILLESPIE:  Well, the Reagan Democrats became Reagan Republicans, for one thing.

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

GILLESPIE:  When I was in my first job in politics, in 1984, I went to work for a congressman named Andy Ireland.  And he was one of the Reagan Democrats.  He was a Boll Weevil.  And I was comfortable with that, because as Irish-Catholic kid from New Jersey, they all but stamped on my birth certificate Democrat. 

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

GILLESPIE:  He changed parties in 1984, like so many other conservative Democrats.  And I changed with him, like so many ethnic Catholic conservative Democrats in the Northeast and the industrial Midwest.  A lot of us became Republicans at that point. 

The country has since become pretty evenly divided. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, this is what I want to ask you. 

GILLESPIE:  Yes. 

BUCHANAN:  There‘s no doubt about it.  The Mondale-Bush race was as close as Nixon-Kennedy back in 1960.  But there was a period there from ‘72, I would say up through ‘88, even—yes, up through ‘88 -- when the Republican Party had this sort of governing coalition.  It ran at times above 60 percent of the vote, and now it is a 50/50 country.  Is the country in part moving away from some of what Ronald Reagan represented and some of what the Republican Party in that era represented? 

GILLESPIE:  I don‘t think so. 

In fact, I think President Reagan moved the nature of the debate to the point at which, you know, it‘s rare that you find people self-identify as liberals today.  That wasn‘t the case when Ronald Reagan was elected president. 

(CROSSTALK)

GILLESPIE:  Democrats tend to run as centrist Democrats, new Democrats because they had to reject the old label. 

BUCHANAN:  The old label liberal is gone.  They‘re all progressives now. 

GILLESPIE:  Right.  They want to be progressives.

BUCHANAN:  But I‘ll tell you, back in the ‘60s, after the Goldwater era, to be a conservative was to be demonized in national politics as an extremist. 

GILLESPIE:  Right.  

BUCHANAN:  And there‘s no question about it that Reagan not only made that term respectable.  He made it honorable.  And I think a plurality of Americans would now say, ask if they‘re moderate, progressive, etcetera, they would say they are conservatives.

GILLESPIE:  A plurality identify as conservatives.  that‘s correct.

BUCHANAN:  Do you think George W. Bush, do you think he can build the kind of comeback momentum that Reagan had?  You recall, in the beginning of 1984, late ‘83, John Glenn was beating Ronald Reagan almost 2-1.  Mondale, I believe, in some polls was beating Ronald Reagan. 

GILLESPIE:  He did.  He did. 

BUCHANAN:  But Reagan turned that and he—the good morning in America and became basically a landslide-winning president.  Any outside chance that George Bush can accomplish that this year or is that—those days gone forever? 

GILLESPIE:  Well, I don‘t know that—you know, given that pretty much the Democratic nominee starts with 46 percent and the Republican nominee starts with 46 percent in this day and age of the vote, those kinds of landslides are tougher to come by. 

But I do believe you will see, as time goes forward, people see the progress going on in Iraq—they see the record job creation that‘s taking place today, over one million jobs this year alone, averaging 257,000 jobs a month in 2004, that they‘re going to appreciate the president‘s policies and he‘ll be soundly reelected.  I think you‘ll probably see, I suspect, a fairly close vote in the popular vote that he prevails in.  But I think you‘ll see the Electoral College magnify that, as it has in the past. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Did a young Ed Gillespie ever run into the Gipper? 

GILLESPIE:  I did not.  And I can‘t say that I did.

BUCHANAN:  You did not meet the Gipper?

GILLESPIE:  No.  And like I say, he had a huge influence on me. 

BUCHANAN:  Sure.

GILLESPIE:  When the president was in his first term, I was parking cars on the Senate parking lot over here, and was an intern. 

BUCHANAN:  Did you see him come and go? 

GILLESPIE:  I did see him come and go.  And he was an incredible presence and you could just feel when he was in the Capitol.  And there was a lot of excitement.  And he inspired me. 

BUCHANAN:  Yes, I think he inspired a lot of us. 

Let me—have you ever heard the president speak himself of his recollections?  See, I don‘t recall that.  I know his father.  I worked down the hall.  His father worked in the White House.  I had the windowless office and then Reagan was down the hall.  And they worked very closely together.  And it was an excellent relationship. 

Do you recall if young President Bush or the present President Bush had any personal relationship of any kind with...

GILLESPIE:  I‘m not familiar with that, Pat, and I have not had a conversation with the president about that. 

But, in fairness, frankly, my conversations with the president are limited.  He‘s very busy focused being the president of the United States.  And I‘m very being focused being the chairman of the Republican Party. 

BUCHANAN:  Right. 

GILLESPIE:  And they‘re two entirely different jobs, as well they should be. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, Ed Gillespie knows a lot about politics and reality. 

This week, it seems to me, when Ronald Reagan died, it‘s very moving, especially those of us who knew him and loved him, which is now in the millions. 

GILLESPIE:  Yes. 

BUCHANAN:  And I think this is going to affect the nation really in a positive way.  I see a measure of unity, with Senator Kerry calling off campaigning, Jimmy Carter‘s warm statements, Kennedy‘s, everyone.  Do you think this is going to bring this country out of what I think is a pretty rancorous partisan campaign thus far, because there at least is this unity this week?  Is that going to ease back some of that or are we going to be back next week into the same...

GILLESPIE:  Pat, I hope so. 

I think that the spirit that Ronald Reagan brought to politics is—I like to think is the spirit I‘d like to bring to it, President Bush brings to it, which is, we can disagree.  That‘s what politics is all about and there‘s what elections are all about.  That‘s what makes America great.  But we don‘t have to be so personal.  We don‘t have to be so angry.  We don‘t have to be so bitter.  Let‘s agree to disagree.

Talk about why you think your policies are better and we‘ll talk about why we think our policies are better.  We‘ll talk about why we think your policies are worse and you talk about why you think our policies are worse.  That‘s fair.  But let‘s limit all these personal and bitter attacks that we hear all the time.

BUCHANAN:  Let me ask you, the president had the World War II memorial, dramatic, beautiful.  He was at Normandy.  We‘ve had the death of a beloved president.  The eulogy is going to be given by the president of the United States next Friday, national day of mourning.

Do you think all of this is sort of elevating the president back out of, if you will, the candidate status into the head of state, chief mourner, president of the United States status, which in my judgment is the most effective candidate status? 

GILLESPIE:  Well, I‘m one, Pat, I believe the president is always the

president of the United States, even when he‘s asking people for their

vote, and I think that

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Even when he‘s talking about the guy from Massachusetts who can‘t get his views straight? 

(LAUGHTER)

GILLESPIE:  I think that people see, you know, in George W. Bush a strong and principled leader.  And that is an asset for him going forward.  I think this is an appropriate time for us to stop and reflect on the impact that Ronald Reagan has had on our country and indeed, on the world. 

Hundreds of millions of people live in greater prosperity and freedom today because Ronald Reagan lived.  And I think that this is a moment where we ought to just stop and set aside the politics.  And let‘s remember Ronald Wilson Reagan for all that he was to this country.  That‘s kind of my view on things. 

BUCHANAN:  Ed Gillespie just got the last word.  Thanks for coming over. 

GILLESPIE:  Thank you, Pat.  You bet.  Thank you. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BUCHANAN:  Still to come, Ronald Reagan stood firm against communism and eventually brought freedom to its victims.  We‘ll talk about how he did it with two men who served as his national security advisers. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN:  Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BUCHANAN:  Joining me now are two men who served as the national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, Richard Allen and Robert McFarlane. 

Bud McFarlane, in Moscow, when Ronald Reagan took the oath of office, the Soviet Union had rolled up Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, in five years, while American generals were talking about our hollow Army and we had hostages being held in Iran.  Eight years later, the Soviet Union is on the precipice of collapse and America is on a roll in the world. 

What was the indispensable element Ronald Reagan had that contributed to victory in the Cold War? 

ROBERT MCFARLANE, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER:  I think the biggest attribute was his confidence in the American people.

The idea that he inherited under detente, that is, that no matter how dysfunctional the Soviet Union was, it would go on forever and the best we could hope for was to limit its expansion, Reagan just didn‘t agree with that.  He believed the American people could compete more effectively.  And he began a campaign, politically, economically, and in security terms, to deny them any gains, as long as he was on watch. 

And, as you know, he did it, whether in Granada, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, turned the tide of the Soviet advance.  And today, it‘s a visual metaphor of vindication that you‘re looking at a backdrop of the Kremlin, where Ronald Reagan has transformed the country into the beginning of freedom, pluralism and a market economy. 

Dick Allen, we are.  I‘m looking at Bud McFarlane.  Behind him is sort of at the dawn is the old Soviet Union, now Russia.  What do you think was the indispensable element that led to America‘s victory in the Cold War, the indispensable element that Ronald Reagan brought? 

RICHARD ALLEN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER:  Well, Pat, it was the plan.  And the plan was long in place before he came to office.  Even in the 1960s, it was already being formulated. 

It was best expressed to me in 1977, sitting in his living room, when he said to me his idea of the Cold War was that we win and they lose.  In 1978, Pete Hannivert (ph) and I took him to Germany on his first trip ever, and it included a trip to Berlin and to look at the wall.  And there he stood, before we went across Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin, and said, we‘ve got to find a way to knock this thing down.  That was part of the plan.

The rest of it was flushed out during the campaign, but particularly in the platform of 1980, which spelled out in great detail what he intended to do. 

BUCHANAN:  OK, both Bud and Dick Allen, I want you to listen.  Here‘s what President Reagan said about the future of communism.  This is back in 1982.  Let‘s listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN:  The only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat, in order to attain that, and that is moral, not immoral.  And we operate on a different set of standards. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCHANAN:  All right, that is a different sound bite.  I apologize. 

That is Ronald Reagan at his first press conference on January 29, 1981. 

(CROSSTALK) 

BUCHANAN:  Now, Bud McFarlane, that is very, very rough rhetoric.  But we‘ve mentioned the Berlin Wall, where he said, tear down this wall, where he referred to the evil empire, where he used his rhetoric as a weapon.  How important was Reagan‘s communication and rhetoric to the victory in the Cold War and to rallying the Western nations? 

MCFARLANE:  Pat, I think it was enormously important.  It‘s one thing to have a good idea, and certainly President Reagan did. 

To be able, however, to really reach persuasively the three key constituencies in order to carry your policy successfully is a very different matter.  And those three different places are, the American people, to evoke their support, the U.S. Congress, to get your appropriations you need to back up your rhetoric, and the allies, Thatcher, Mitterrand, Craxi, Kohl, Nakasone, Reagan did all three of these.

And when he arrived, opposite Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva in 1985, he had a joint resolution of the Congress behind him, Margaret Thatcher and every one of those heads of state endorsing him from the United Nations, and a 71 percent approval rating from the American people.  Reagan could communicate.  No question. 

BUCHANAN:  Dick Allen, let me ask you.  We all recall the 1970s, late ‘70s, especially.  And without getting into being critical of any leader, they were very bad times for America.  Everything seemed to be going wrong.  A lot of us sort of had lost confidence that we were eventually going to win this Cold War. 

And, yet, Reagan was able, as Bud McFarlane says, he comes in, he‘s rallying the Congress, he‘s bringing people behind him, all of these issues.  There was tremendous controversy, people tend to forget.  They now say, oh, we were all together.  But we weren‘t together on missiles in Europe or aid to the Contras or things like that.  What did Reagan have that enabled him to turn this thing around almost single-handedly? 

ALLEN:  Well, Pat, it was a steely determination to pursue his ideas, which he considered to be correct. 

Reagan, for example, never used political polling as an indicator of changing his position, putting his finger into the wind and determining how much time he had to change.  Rather, he saw political polling, particularly done by his brilliant pollster Dick Wirthlin, as an opportunity to get out in front of the American people, as Wirthlin and others would advise him of the trends in America. 

He would see six weeks, for example, as an enormous opportunity to go out and turn things around.  That was the case with the deployment of the Persian cruise missiles in 1981.  He knew exactly what message he wanted to give.  And when you just played that clip from the first press conference, I can share a humorous story.

As the collective grasp of disbelief occurred in the room and the press conference broke up and the reporters rushed for their phones, I was trailing five feet behind him as he was going back to the Oval Office.  And in the middle of colonnade by the Rose Garden, he stopped and turned around and said, oh, say, Dick.  And I said, yes, Mr. President.  And he said, the Soviets, they do lie, cheat and steal to get what they want, don‘t they?  And I said, they sure do, Mr. President.  And he turned, smiled, winked and said, I thought so, and went on back to the Oval Office. 

None of that came up open in the murder boards in the preparations for that press conference.  And there were two or three sessions that we had with him.  He knew exactly what he wanted to say.  And if he had staffed that out, so to speak, people would have gone ballistic and said, oh, no, no, you can‘t do that.  It was that steely determination that brought him home. 

BUCHANAN:  Bud McFarlane, here‘s that quote I thought we had earlier.  We‘re going to play it right now.  It‘s what President Reagan said about the future of communism in Great Britain in 1982. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN:  What I‘m describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term.  The march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism, Leninism on the ash heap of history, as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

BUCHANAN:  We‘re almost out of time, Bud, but very quickly, did you have that same confidence back there in ‘82 that this would be on the ash heap of history? 

MCFARLANE:  You know, President Reagan was so inspirational.  You could not help but be caught up, regardless of what your own training had been in college or afterwards, President Reagan, when he spoke those words of conviction and had the political courage to back it up with things like the Strategic Defense Initiative, and to engage Margaret Thatcher, who was often quite critical of his going to the edge of shrillness, this was a guy who was committed to principle.

And it had an effect.  You hear that today.  When I go from place to place in Moscow, everybody I meet on the streets say, thank God for President Reagan. 

BUCHANAN:  OK, Bud McFarlane, thank you.  And Richard V. Allen, thank you. 

Still ahead, some final thoughts on the passing of an American legend.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, tune in to hear stories about Ronald Reagan you‘ve never heard before from some of the famous journalists who covered the Gipper‘s career.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  He came from another time and place, Ronald Reagan did.  He had a lifelong love affair with America, with her history, her heroes, her stories, her legends.  Now he is one of those legends. 

In life and as an actor, he relished romantic and heroic roles.  Whether it was the lifeguard who pulled 77 swimmers to safety, the legendary Gipper of Knute Rockne‘s Notre Dame, or the statesman who got up and walked out of a summit rather than compromise the safety of the country. 

Back a quarter of a century ago, after Watergate, defeat in Vietnam and America held hostage, the country took a chance.  It voted for Ronald Reagan.  And when America did, America won the lottery.  His sunny persona, his grace under fire after the attempt on his life endeared him.  When he came out of the anesthesia after surgery to remove the bullet so near to his heart, he looked up at the nurses hovering over him and said, OK, let‘s do the whole scene over again, beginning at the hotel. 

His resolve to restore the morale and might of the armed forces of which he was now commander in chief created a constituency all his own, the Reagan Democrats.  I don‘t know if Ronald Reagan would have cared that they named that big new building in Washington after him, but he sure would have loved that aircraft carrier.  He was devoid of ego and the boastfulness so common in this capital.  “There‘s no limit to how far a man can go,” read a plaque in his office, “so long as he‘s willing to let someone else get the credit.”

What did he achieve?  Ronald Reagan let the eagle soar.  He restored our spirits.  He rebuilt our armed forces.  And he led us to victory in the Cold War.  This man who began his presidency by calling the Soviet Union an evil empire ended his presidency strolling through Red Square arm in arm with the last leader of the Soviet empire.

Hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent and fair, so Ronald Reagan said of America in his last inaugural address.  And so it will be said of him.  We shall not see his like again. 

Good night.  That‘s all.  Thanks for joining us.

END   

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