Guests: Dan Quayle, J.D. Hayworth, David Dreier, John McCain, Jack Kemp
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Ronald Reagan returned for a final time to Washington, D.C. today, the first state funeral in the nation‘s capital in 31 years.
The crowds in Washington gathered early. Officials expected that as many as 5,000 people per hour would file past the casket lying in state. And as the former president‘s plane approached Washington, police ordered an evacuation of the U.S. Capitol. I‘ll tell you what, I was there. I was inside actually interviewing Vice President Dan Quayle when the officials sounded the alarms.
The police were screaming and yelling, telling everybody to run up north as quickly as possible, but people started running every which way, when an aircraft had temporarily gone off course. Fortunately, that was a false alarm. The ceremonies resumed, as Ronald Reagan‘s flag-draped casket was carried by caisson through the capital streets, followed by a riderless horse, just as it was during the funerals of Presidents Herbert Hoover, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson.
Ronald Reagan received a 21-gun salute, a custom adopted from ancient Rome and carried over from the battlefield. Of course, they do that to signal their farewell to a fallen soldier. The casket was brought into Rotunda to lie in state.
Ronald Reagan is actually the 10th president to lie in state in the Rotunda and the first since Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1973. Families, friends, and dignitaries went past and paid their respects. And, of course, America‘s eyes were on Nancy Reagan and, of course, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan‘s iron lady, who stood shoulder to shoulder with Reagan for years, as she, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II dared to stand up and do what nobody else had done in 50 years, and declare the Soviet Union would be buried in the ash heap of history.
Margaret Thatcher‘s moment with Ronald Reagan was perhaps one of the most touching of the evening, two heroes in the twilight of their lives, one already gone on, another one paying her last respects. Vice President Richard Cheney summed up what made America love Ronald Reagan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ronald Reagan was more than a historic figure. He was a providential man who came along just when our nation and the world most needed him. And believing as he did that there is a plan at work in each life, he accepted not only the great duties that came to him, but also the great trials.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He always told us that, for America, the best was yet to come.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Barbara and I mourn the loss of a great president and for us a great friend.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He always believed that the Cold War would come to an end and that freedom would triumph. He believed everybody wanted to be free. And I think that will be his enduring legacy.
G.W. BUSH: His work is done. And now a shining city awaits him. May God bless Ronald Reagan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: You know, I was inside the Capitol today talking to current members and former members.
I was actually over on the Senate side. And as we were making our way towards the Rotunda for the service, I was joined by Senator Ted Kennedy. And Senator Ted Kennedy and I actually got into a train, started making our way over to the service. He was joined by John Warner. Now, here were two people on opposite ends of the political spectrum. They were sitting there smiling in the cart, not talking about Iraq, not talking about the economy, not talking about what surely is to be a very bitter campaign season.
Instead, they were sharing their memories of Ronald Reagan. And what made Ronald Reagan different from so many other politicians? You know, Reagan didn‘t hate. He truly was a uniter, not a divider. And today, it was evident more than ever about Ronald Reagan‘s greatness. And what made Ronald Reagan so great was the fact that he could bring people together, not only from different sides of political aisles, but all across America. He was a truly special man.
And, tonight and throughout the day and throughout this week, people that are the closest to Ronald Reagan all said the same thing. This is really starting to take on more of a feel of a celebration than a funeral.
Now, with me now is a man that I saw actually earlier this evening as we were headed towards the service. He‘s former Congressmen and presidential candidate and confidante of President Reagan, Jack Kemp.
And, Jack, you know, we were just talking outside the Senate chamber. And you and your wife were saying, this isn‘t a funeral. This is a celebration of a great man.
Tell me about it and take us inside that personal reception that you were going into, talking to Nancy and the rest of Reagan‘s Cabinet and the people that were the closest and the dearest to this man.
JACK KEMP, CO-FOUNDER, EMPOWER AMERICA: Well, it was—first of all, Joe, thanks for your opening comments, because that was such a beautiful way of putting the strength of Reagan, to bring people together, even, you know, if it‘s John Warner and Ted Kennedy, No. 1.
No. 2, to be in that room with Margaret Thatcher and Brian Mulroney, Paul Laxalt, one of the original Reaganauts, it was very special, men and women who care profoundly about America, who care profoundly about the free world. And I think it came through best of all for me, anyway, in Dick Cheney‘s speech, when he said that it was providential that Ronald Reagan came to power in 1981.
If you stop and think about it, Pope John Paul, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan all came to power within the space of about two years there, ‘79 to ‘81, and literally turned the world around. So it was providential, in my opinion.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, they were also talking about the fact—all these people that loved Ronald Reagan so much all seemed to go back to the same thing. And that is that Ronald Reagan dared to team up with others, like Pope John Paul II, like Margaret Thatcher, and break with Republican Party and Democratic Party ideology, talking about detente.
And instead, these three people came out and they called evil evil. And Ronald Reagan said, the Soviet Union was going to end up on the ash heap of history in 1982. He was basically described as a lunatic. Talk about what made Ronald Reagan so daring, what made him different from so many other politicians who just wanted to go along to get along.
KEMP: Well, he saw the big picture. He saw that ultimately freedom would triumph.
I think he knew that democracy was the ultimate destiny of all mankind. And some called it idealistic or ideological, but he was also very practical. That speech he gave that you alluded to, Joe, at Notre Dame, I‘ll never forget it. A few months after he had been shot, he went to Notre Dame and said, we will not contain communism. We will transcend communism. We will not denounce it. We will dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter of human history whose last pages are now being written.
Raise your hands if you could see the end of the Soviet Union circa 1981 and ‘82. So I think it was that inner compass, that lodestar that he had that never left. When he was governor of California, he was talking that way, and then, when president of the United States, he was talking that way. He just—he always saw the city sitting on a hill. And that makes him a pretty special guy.
SCARBOROUGH: He is an unbelievably special guy and a visionary.
You know, when you walked into that reception, when you talked to all of Reagan‘s old friends and Cabinet members, obviously, the person whose everybody‘s eyes have been on all day has been Nancy. Nancy, obviously, we saw her stand outside waiting for the president‘s casket to arrive on the west front of the Capitol. And throughout the entire service, it was very sad, almost painful.
Tell me, behind the scenes, what was her temperament like?
KEMP: Well, my wife and I have known Nancy Reagan since the ‘60s, the mid-‘60s. And she‘s always been a very special lady, to some controversial. But to those people who knew her, both Democrat and Republican, she had a very special touch. She had an incredible love affair with her husband, Ron.
They were a teamwork, a special friendship, as well as a marriage between two people that never died. And she deserves enormous credit for highlighting Alzheimer‘s and the fight against Alzheimer‘s, her treatment and love affair with Ronald. And, then, at the end, when he was losing his short-term memory, she took so wonderful care of him.
Joanne and I went by to see them in 1996, when I was running with Bob Dole. And I could see her whisper to Ronnie, hey, Ron, that‘s Jack Kemp. He used to be your—you know, he carried a lot of water for you.
SCARBOROUGH: And you did carry a lot of water for Ronald Reagan.
But I want to ask you, I want you to go back to when you first met Ronald Reagan. Could you imagine the day when Ronald Reagan would receive this type of reception in Washington, D.C., this sort of farewell, and be remembered, really, because, Jack Kemp, at the end of the day, Ronald Reagan is being remembered as one of the two great presidents of the 20th century, the man who brought down the Soviet Union.
KEMP: Oh, absolutely.
SCARBOROUGH: Could you have ever imagined that when you were working with him back in 1981?
KEMP: Well, you know, I saw something in him. A lot of people saw that in him.
I met him, as I said earlier, when I was quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, watching him give a speech. I met him. He loved football. He talked to me about football. I wanted to talk about politics. But there‘s only one way to say it. Winston Churchill was called the last lion of the 20th century. With all due respect—I love Winston Churchill, but really, our last lion of the 20th century was Ronald Wilson Reagan.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Jack Kemp, thanks so much. You were a heck of a lion for that last lion. I thank you so much for being part of our special coverage tonight.
KEMP: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
And, Jack, you know, you were talking about this city shining on the hill. You turn around and look at that Capitol.
KEMP: It‘s beautiful.
SCARBOROUGH: That‘s exactly what Ronald Wilson Reagan was talking about, the epicenter of freedom, not only in America, but around the world. And he made the reality that we know in America true for millions and millions of people that never knew it before Ronald Reagan became president of the United States.
Now, coming up next, much more, my interview with Senator John McCain, a guy who‘s known as a maverick among Republicans. He remembers a President Reagan brave enough to stand for what he believed in and smart enough to make a deal when needed.
Then, we‘re going to be talking to true blue Reaganites, one congressman elected in 1980 with Ronald Reagan, the other a member of the class of 1994, heirs to the Reagan revolution.
That‘s coming up next when we return saying goodbye to Ronald Wilson Reagan.
SCARBOROUGH: Ronald Reagan spoke of a city shining brightly on a hill for all the world to see. Tonight, that light shines on the life and times of Ronald Wilson Reagan.
We‘ll be back with much more from John McCain when we return.
SCARBOROUGH: All eyes of the nation were on Nancy Reagan today as she emerged from her limousine on Constitution Avenue to see her husband‘s casket raised onto the caisson for its procession to the Rotunda. Visibly anguished, Mrs. Reagan acknowledged the mourners who lined the boulevard to pay their respects. At the Capitol, a poised and stoic Mrs. Reagan stayed close as the casket was carried up the Capitol steps into the Rotunda for Ronald Reagan‘s last symbolic trip to Washington.
Senator John McCain looked up to Ronald Reagan for his political and moral courage. And he enjoyed being endorsed by the late president in his campaign.
I asked Senator McCain what legacy President Reagan left for the country that he loved so much.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA: He restored confidence in America.
Look, in the ‘70s, this nation was shaken to its foundations. And we‘d lost a war. America was divided. We had a president who said we were suffering from a national malaise. Americans were being held hostage in Iran. Look, there was not only no self-confidence. There was real question about the future of our nation and our very principles upon which we were founded.
He had this unshakable belief and confidence in the greatness of America. I compare him to Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt had this sense of the potential of America and its role in the world stage. That was early on. He just—he was a natural continuation of that.
I‘m sorry for the long answer.
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no, no.
But like Roosevelt also, he was an independent guy.
SCARBOROUGH: People think of Ronald Reagan as an ideologue, but this is a guy who, in 1976, took on an incumbent Republican president.
SCARBOROUGH: That doesn‘t happen to us, does it?
MCCAIN: No. And he came very, very close. As we all know, he came extremely close all the way up to the last probably fun convention.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, that was a fun convention.
Where does—I want you to tell me where the courage comes from, because there are very few independents out there, people that will actually vote their conscience, that don‘t follow the party line. Ronald Reagan, like you, would do a lot of things that made people scratch their heads, say, how dare you take on a president in your own party, how dare you throw away detente and actually confront the Soviet Union, say, you know what, I don‘t care what the Republican establishment says. They‘re evil.
We know where that came from with you. Where did it come from with Ronald Reagan?
MCCAIN: He had this ingrained and fundamental belief about the greatness of America.
And, therefore, he was not afraid to stand up, because he had total and complete confidence that he was right. Now, before we get the wrong impression, let me quickly add, on his core convictions about the greatness of America, he was unshakable. On other issues, he would negotiate. The worst-kept secret—or maybe the best-kept secret in the Republican Party is that, after his tax cuts, guess what, he raised taxes.
SCARBOROUGH: The next year.
MCCAIN: He raised—shh—he raised taxes.
But he did that because he believed that the deficit had grown too large and it needed to be reduced. Now, whether that was right or wrong, my point is that he was willing to negotiate on things that were not matters of principle.
SCARBOROUGH: And we‘ve talked about this before also, about how no choices, no tough choices are being made. Ronald Reagan was willing to make those tough choices domestically, as well as internationally, just like you, right?
MCCAIN: Because when he called for an increase in defense spending—and it was dramatic and necessary and, by the way, I think one of the contributing factors to bringing down the Soviet Union, because when he supported ballistic missile defense, the Russians believed that all the money they had spent on all these offensive weapons was going to be negated. And it had a profound effect.
But Ronald Reagan sincerely believed that we had to reduce spending in order to make up for these increases in defense spending. And he was concerned about deficits and runaway spending. He had some great lines about the Congress, too, you know, from time to time.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, were you at the State of the Union address when he picked up the budget and threw it down?
MCCAIN: One thousand pages. Yes, that was...
SCARBOROUGH: One of the best moments.
MCCAIN: Yes. It was wonderful.
SCARBOROUGH: What‘s your—last question. What‘s your favorite memory of Ronald Reagan, of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, either privately or publicly?
MCCAIN: I guess my favorite memory was the first time that—and this is a bit self-serving—where he talked about the POWs and he said, you know, I turned to Nancy, and I said, where do we find such men? And then the answer came to me. They come from every city, every town, every village all across this nation of ours.
I mean, it just—it brings tears to my eyes still to think about the way that he described my friends. And I guess the other one was to see the incredible affection and respect that they had for one another, which was on display, not a public display, but you could see it and detect it, this really deep and abiding love they had for each other.
And I think you and I know that‘s very tough in politics sometimes to maintain that kind of relationship. And they certainly did. And I think that Nancy Reagan has been ennobled, ennobled, by this trial that she‘s been put through.
SCARBOROUGH: She really has.
Senator John McCain, as always, it‘s a real honor.
MCCAIN: It‘s great to be with you. Thanks.
SCARBOROUGH: And, you know, John McCain soon after went over to the memorial service with everybody else.
And if you went to the memorial service—I want to show you this—this is actually what they were handing out to everybody. You open it up, and there‘s a sequence of events, and, of course, talking about, honoring Ronald Wilson Reagan, and pass that out.
And two people that were there in the service also were Congressman David Dreier, who was elected to his first term in Congress on the same day Ronald Reagan was elected president on that great day in 1980. I‘ll tell you, I remember it like it was yesterday. And Congressman J.D. Hayworth, Republican from Arizona, who is a member of my class, the class of 1994. And it‘s a class that many consider to be a great part of Ronald Reagan‘s legacy.
J.D., I know you and I think it‘s a great part of his legacy.
REP. J.D. HAYWORTH ®, ARIZONA: Absolutely.
SCARBOROUGH: Let‘s begin with you, David Dreier.
Again, I do remember that day. It‘s the reason I got into politics.
It‘s 1980. You come in with Ronald Reagan, start the Reagan revolution. Tell me, what‘s today been like for somebody like yourself, whose career is so tightly connected with Ronald Reagan‘s?
REP. DAVID DREIER ®, CALIFORNIA: Well, let me first say that I‘m sandwiched between two great guys who, for the first time since the year I was born, allowed our party to win a majority in 1994. And I regularly said after we won the majority that the most exciting time, until the 1994 election, when you guys brought us the majority, was 1981, that first year.
This has been like a roller-coaster ride. A 93-year-old man who‘s been dying for a long period of time passes away, but it still has been a real blow. One moment, we‘re crying. I stood in the Capitol Rotunda crying. And the next moment, I went downstairs to see the pallbearers. And I saw Merv Griffin. And I said, I‘m coming over here to see Joe Scarborough.
And you know what he said to me? He said, I started out my attack on that horrible CBS Reagan movie with Joe Scarborough.
DREIER: And he was then telling jokes, as Merv Griffin does all the time. And he had some great lines, some of which can‘t be shared with your audience right here this evening.
SCARBOROUGH: Go ahead. Go ahead. You guys regulate the FCC.
DREIER: This is cable. This is cable, I know.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes. Exactly. So...
DREIER: ... right now.
SCARBOROUGH: J.D., you actually shared something in common with Ronald Reagan. And that is, you got your start, like Ronald Reagan, as a sportscaster.
HAYWORTH: And what was amazing, coming to town here, as everyone does when you get ready to run for office, I went by to visit with some of the pundits, and one of whom will remain nameless.
They said to me, Mr. Hayworth, do you know of anyone else who began their career as a sportscaster and then was elected?
HAYWORTH: And I said, this is a joke, right? Ever heard the name Ronald Wilson Reagan? Because Reagan did start as a sportscaster.
And the great thing about President Reagan, when you look at his life
· let‘s face it, those of us who get into this endeavor suffer from no lack of self-esteem. But the fact about Ronald Reagan was, he was a humble man. I can recall being backstage in Phoenix his last campaign appearance, about five days before the ‘92 election, when I was still a broadcaster emceeing an event.
Senator McCain was out introducing Ronald Reagan, offered that wonderful quote from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, “the man who won the Cold War, Ronald Wilson Reagan.” I looked at President Reagan, and there‘s that characteristic shrug and nod of the head before he goes out on stage.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, oh, gee. Yes.
HAYWORTH: A very humble man.
SCARBOROUGH: And I‘ll tell you, one of the moving parts of the service for me was when they quoted what Ronald Reagan said at the end, when he said, “not bad.”
SCARBOROUGH: Not a bad job. Talk about understatement.
And Ronald Reagan also didn‘t seem to be bothered by criticism.
And, David Dreier, one of my favorite Reagan stories had to do with Edmund Morris, when his biographer went up to visit him that day. And he said that he was upset because this was his time to get information from Reagan, and yet the front page of “The L.A. Times” was covered across the top with—this is ‘89 -- about Iran-Contra, blaming him for the deficit.
He goes in. He goes on the back porch. And Reagan is red. His face is red. He‘s fuming. And he said, did you see this? And Morris said, yes, Mr. President. I saw the paper. He goes, it‘s awful, isn‘t it? He goes, yes, it‘s awful. He folds it over, throws it to him. He says, I can‘t believe the O‘Malleys would think about selling the Dodgers to Murdoch.
SCARBOROUGH: A long story to make a very important point about Ronald Reagan. He never, ever seemed to notice his critics. And we all know here, in politics, that‘s very rare. What made him that way?
DREIER: Well, he had this great perspective on things. And I will tell you, believe it or not—and I know a lot of people get nervous when you draw this allusion—George W. Bush is the same way.
Critics like to say he doesn‘t read the papers, but the message is that he is not rattled by this either. He has friends and family who are rattled by it. But that is just one more example. The O‘Malley story is one more example. And you know that that‘s what George W. Bush is reading, the sports page, too.
DREIER: When he‘s looking at the paper.
SCARBOROUGH: Is that what he says?
SCARBOROUGH: When he says he‘s not reading the papers, that‘s not exactly true.
SCARBOROUGH: He reads the sports pages every day.
Hey, we‘ll be right back talking more with our guests.
Coming up, Ronald Reagan‘s 1980 election ushered in a wave of conservatism. And the 1994 Republican landslide was called Reagan‘s last victory, eight years after retirement. We‘re going to be talking to a congressman from each of those election years for their thoughts on what‘s next in the Reagan revolution.
Then, don‘t be fooled by the Gipper‘s million-dollar smile. He was a true cold warrior. We‘re going to be taking a closer look at how President Reagan used his baby blues to stare down the Soviet Union. That‘s next.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, when we come back, Dan Quayle will share his favorite moments with Ronald Reagan, and more with Representative J.D. Hayworth and David Dreier in just a minute.
But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
G.W. BUSH: He always told us that, for America, the best was yet to come.
G.H.W. BUSH: Barbara and I mourn the loss of a great president and for us a great friend.
CLINTON: He always believed that the Cold War would come to an end and that freedom would triumph. He believed everybody wanted to be free. And I think that will be his enduring legacy.
G.W. BUSH: His work is done. And now a shining city awaits him. May God bless Ronald Reagan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: You know, presidents, prime ministers, dignitaries from across the globe tonight are talking about Ronald Reagan and paying their respects.
But the Ronald Reagan that David Dreier and Nancy Reagan and so many others knew and loved is the Ronald Reagan whose heart, whose heart was always with the men and women that are lining up right now. Reagan believed the greatness of America rested in the hearts of Americans and not in Washington, D.C.
And they continue to file past, 5,000 per hour. And many believe that the people are going to be coming to the people‘s house throughout tonight and tomorrow and continuing to pay their respects to Ronald Reagan.
And, David Dreier, what a sight.
SCARBOROUGH: And, you know, J.D., all of us obviously walked through that Rotunda a million times. But, tonight, to see Ronald Reagan‘s casket lying in the middle, you know—and you know, obviously you look up at the top of the Rotunda, there‘s George Washington looking down from the heavens with the 13 angels for the colonies around him.
And, you know, as I went past, I was like you. I started tearing up, not as a Republican, not as a conservative—I‘ve been accused of not being good at being either of those things—but as an American.
SCARBOROUGH: What a moving moment.
I want you all to bring our viewers into what it was like when you all filed past the casket.
DREIER: Well, first, just in thinking about what‘s over our shoulder right now, this dome, I was reminded of bringing an intern from the Solidarity movement in Poland.
And I get a tingle down my spine every time I look at that Capitol.
And I‘ve spent virtually my entire adult life here as a member of Congress. But this guy started crying. And I said, well, what‘s wrong? And he came in and he said, do you have any idea what that symbolizes? It‘s the symbol of everything good, is what this guy from Poland said to me.
And he began as an intern just after the Berlin Wall had crumbled. And so Ronald Reagan was responsible for that. And I mentioned the pallbearers. Just one other—the other pallbearer there, Charlie Wick, who was the U.S. Information Agency director under Ronald Reagan, has been asked to give loads of interviews. And he has refused.
He responded to his hometown newspaper, “The Cleveland Plain Dealer.”
He‘s been out in Los Angeles for years, but that‘s his hometown newspaper. And he said the one line that he gave is—and I thought of this in response to what you were saying about the average guy walking by that coffin right now—and that is, Ronald Reagan proved that great guys don‘t finish last.
SCARBOROUGH: Exactly. They finish first.
And, J.D., David brought up this intern that was part of the Solidarity movement. You go to Eastern Europe, there are so many things in Eastern Europe that are named after Ronald Reagan, streets, town squares. There are statues of him. And they seem to get the genius of Ronald Reagan better than most elitists right here in America, don‘t they?
HAYWORTH: It was summed up by one phrase a constituent shared with me. Her daughter-in-law came from behind the Iron Curtain.
And the daughter-in-law told her, President Lincoln freed the slaves of America. President Reagan freed the enslaved millions in Eastern Europe. I offered that as part of my floor statement today. And I think it speaks volumes.
You also mentioned, Joe, the apotheosis of Washington, as we see
SCARBOROUGH: Except, of course, I don‘t know what apotheosis means.
HAYWORTH: Well, it was just as you said. He‘s looking down with the angels around him, as he is transported from here to the hereafter.
SCARBOROUGH: Right. Right.
HAYWORTH: And so you have Washington looking down. And we have the earthly remains of Ronald Reagan.
Something else that I think offered synergy between our first president and our 40th, Washington said the best way to ensure peace is to prepare for war. And that simple lesson stayed with Ronald Reagan.
SCARBOROUGH: And you guys obviously remember in the mid ‘80s, when Ronald Reagan deployed cruise missiles to Europe and then had the audacity to call them Peacemakers. I‘m telling you, millions of people went out in the streets in protest against Ronald Reagan, considered him more dangerous than they considered George Bush during the past war.
SCARBOROUGH: Peacemakers, Peacekeepers. But Ronald Reagan did understand that, didn‘t he, that you got peace through strength.
DREIER: Well, that was it. That was the organization.
Every year, we would get this—the Coalition for Peace Through Strength, it was called. And he understood that so extraordinarily well, because we looked at what had happened in the four years before, with the diminution of our military strength. And you will recall, in the ‘80 campaign, the whole thrust was to rebuild our defense capability so that we will have a military that is second to none.
It wasn‘t supposed to be on a par with anybody, second to none, because we were the lone voice for freedom, self-determination and political pluralism worldwide.
SCARBOROUGH: And, again, he turned his back on the Republican concept and Democratic concept of detente.
Another great story—and we—the best Ronald Reagan stories come from former Soviet generals or from people that served in Soviet gulags. One of my favorite stories, of course, Ronald Reagan talked about the evil empire. It outraged “The New York Times.” Other elitists believed that it was dangerous.
But remember those stories about people that were in Soviet gulags, and they actually were talking about, they would tap in Morse code on the plumbing to other inmates, said, the American president just called the Soviet Union evil. He‘s daring to take them on. Isn‘t that unbelievable?
HAYWORTH: And it points again that one man...
SCARBOROUGH: One man.
HAYWORTH: ... can make a difference.
And that is what Ronald Reagan did. That‘s why he will be remembered in the pantheon of great presidents. He ranks with Washington and with Lincoln because he transformed his times, not by embracing detente or reconciliation or appeasement, but by winning the Cold War, doing what it took, winning the Cold War without a shot, reinvigorating our economy, embracing growth and opportunity through tax relief, and just making Americans feel good about themselves.
SCARBOROUGH: David Dreier, just like FDR—FDR is not remembered as a Democrat. Obviously, he was a very liberal Democrat. But just like FDR, Ronald Reagan won‘t be remembered as a Republican. He‘ll be remembered as an American, won‘t he?
DREIER: I will tell you something.
I was just mentioning at the break, if you look at 20-year increments, 1961, John F. Kennedy stood up, Cuban missile crisis. He had the Bay of Pigs problem, of course. But he cut taxes to stimulate the economy and generate economic growth. We saw growth through the ‘60s. In 1981, Ronald Reagan did exactly that.
Now, a virulent anti-communist, he cut taxes to stimulate the economy.
We created the longest sustained economic recovery in our nation‘s history;
2001, George W. Bush cut taxes and he stood up to a different ism, terrorism. And he‘s done it unwaveringly. He‘s been criticized, but he‘s unwavering, just as Ronald Reagan was unwavering in his virulent anti-communist stance that he took.
SCARBOROUGH: And you‘re right, all 20-year increments.
Well, gentlemen, thanks so much. It‘s been an honor being here. It was great seeing you over there.
DREIER: I was surrounded by self-esteem here.
HAYWORTH: But you shined through somehow.
SCARBOROUGH: Somehow, you figured it out.
We appreciate you guys being with us to celebrate the life of an American original.
David Dreier, you‘re going to be with us again at midnight to get reaction.
SCARBOROUGH: You are.
We‘re going to get reaction from the American people on the legacy of Ronald Reagan. And we‘re going to reading your e-mails and taking your phone calls.
And, J.D., if you want to drop by, too, we‘d love to see you.
SCARBOROUGH: Ask Mary.
But send your thoughts right now to us, if you will, at Joe.MSNBC.com. We‘ll be talking about it in about an hour a half. We want to hear from you.
And coming up, former Vice President Dan Quayle and his wife were in Washington today to pay their respects to the former president. And Quayle took time out today to talk to me about his recollections of President Reagan.
Then, I‘m going to share some personal thoughts on the legacy of Ronald Wilson Reagan, a man who inspired me to serve in Congress through his eloquence and his idealism.
And the riderless horse that held the former president‘s boots, yet another enduring image from today.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, it was a chaotic afternoon here in the capital. In fact, we almost missed our next interview with former Vice President Dan Quayle because of an evacuation.
I was inside. It was a remarkable scene. We‘ve had evacuations before when I served in Congress for four terms. But this time, there was an urgency with the police. They were screaming and yelling. It was chaotic. People were stumbling over themselves. But, again, things turned out being all right in the end.
And Dan Quayle was there. We were start starting to get interviewed. They ripped off our microphones, shoved us both down the stairs. And, as always, Vice President Dan Quayle was calm, cool and collected.
We appreciated the chance to get his thoughts about President Reagan, and this is what he told us.
SCARBOROUGH: One of the things that you seemed to pick up from Ronald Reagan, other than the press kicking Ronald Reagan around and kicking you around a lot, was the fact that you never lost your temper. You never showed your anger. Reagan never showed his anger. He didn‘t seem to take the attacks personally.
Did you draw that lesson from Ronald Reagan as sort of being more of a sunny, more of an optimistic Republican than some of us that yelled and screamed for our causes?
DAN QUAYLE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To some extent.
You never heard Ronald Reagan raise his voice, even in his speeches when he would really get carried away. I think the clip I‘ve seen that he raised his voice the most was when he made that famous statement, this is my microphone or I bought this microphone, the only time you really hear a little bit of a high pitch in Reagan‘s voice.
He kept his cool. I think both of us thought that the attacks were not personal. It went with the office. And any time you‘re president of the United States, they‘re going to come after you, hammer and tong, and try to tear you down. When you‘re vice president, if you have a popular president, believe me, they‘re going to come after the vice president with a great deal of vigor.
For 3 ½ years-plus, I had a very popular president, so guess who was the subject of a lot of abuse and things like that? But it really goes more with the territory and with the office. And so you have to dismiss it. And a lot of your critics out there, they‘re cynical haters to begin with, and you just sort of shrug it off.
SCARBOROUGH: Ignore it.
Well, talking about cynical haters, you read the newspapers this week, and there are actually people that are coming out there, lining up, saying, we know what you heard about Ronald Reagan. We know you‘re reading right now that he won the Cold War, but everybody knew the Soviet Union was going to collapse after all.
I‘m so glad that you‘d come on our show to talk about Ronald Reagan, because you were there in the 1980s. You were there for the showdown with Mikhail Gorbachev. You were on the Armed Services Committee. Tell us, when Ronald Reagan came into office in 1980, at Reykjavik in ‘85, ‘86, the Soviet Union was far from collapsing, wasn‘t it?
And you‘ve got to put it in perspective. We had just come off four years of Jimmy Carter, malaise and self-doubt and wondering where this country was going to go. And back in 1974, ‘75, ‘76, with Vietnam and Watergate and the pardon, even former Secretary Henry Kissinger, who I have a great deal of admiration, talked about, well, we need to really bargain with the Soviet Union because they seem to be on the prevailing side right now.
So this was not a slam dunk. Perhaps I shouldn‘t use those words these days.
QUAYLE: But now they‘re going back in retrospect and putting this in perspective.
Well, I‘ll put it in perspective. I was there. There were a number of things that contributed to the demise of the Soviet Union, and Ronald Reagan was a primary contributor to that.
Furthermore, the INF, the deployment of the INF missiles, the intermediate range nuclear range missiles in Germany, a huge indicator that the West had.
SCARBOROUGH: And let me stop you there, because I want you to go through all these points, but tell us about the reaction that Ronald Reagan faced when he tried to deploy those—when he deployed those missiles in Germany. Didn‘t Europe explode, much like they did before the Iraq war?
QUAYLE: Well, Europe exploded very similar, perhaps even more so.
And, also, there was a vast movement here, the so-called nuclear freeze movement. It was a very contentious vote in the United States Senate. We would win those votes by three or four votes every single time. There are a lot of senators and many senators‘ wives that were very involved with this Peace Links organization, that was no nukes, period.
Well, it worked. Having deterrents actually worked. Ronald Reagan deployed those missiles. And the other thing that really—two other things that sunk the Soviet Union, one, SDI, Ronald Reagan saying, we‘re going to have the Strategic Defense Initiative.
And then I was quite shocked when he said this, told Gorbachev he‘d share the technology with him. I go, wait a second. I‘m in the Senate. Not over my dead body were we going to share any technology. But that was Ronald Reagan, who said, well, look, it‘s going to work for us. We‘ll just share it with you.
And the other thing was a commitment to increasing the defense spending. When they saw the deployment of INF missiles, SDI, which was very costly, and our military buildup, the Soviet Union spent themselves into bankruptcy trying to catch up with us. And that was the beginning of the demise of the former Soviet Union, the taking down of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany, the liberation of Eastern and Central Europe. And Ronald Reagan started it all.
SCARBOROUGH: Despite the fact that Soviet generals are now coming forward and saying, yes, you know what? You know what finished us off? The cruise missiles and SDI. Despite that fact, liberals in the media are still saying that Star Wars was a failure and it proved that Ronald Reagan was this buffoon who had his head in the clouds.
QUAYLE: Well, look where contemporary historians put Ronald Reagan as far as great presidents. It was in the lower third. I think he‘s now like average, according to the contemporary historians.
His true place in history won‘t be known for a generation or perhaps two generations. But I think he‘ll be known as one of the two great presidents of the last century. Ronald Reagan and FDR, those will be the two that will go down in the long-term history as people that made a significant contribution and changed America for the good.
But they just simply can‘t get away from that bias. And they always thought that Reagan was sort of lazy and not curious and intellectually weak. And now we‘re going back and looking at all the writings that he did himself. He wrote many of those speeches. He knew poetry. He knew history. He spent a lot—he was a very private man. He spent a lot of time reading, a lot of time writing, a lot of time reflecting. Did he get bogged down into the details of passing a budget?
No, but he knew where he wanted to take the country.
SCARBOROUGH: Mr. Vice President, any final thoughts on Ronald Reagan?
What‘s your best memory of him, public or private?
QUAYLE: It‘s both, the fact that he was just an honorable, decent, caring American citizen that did his best for his country. And that‘s all he thought of himself. He was a lot more than that. That was his view of himself.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Mr. Vice President, thanks a lot. It‘s a great honor.
QUAYLE: Yes. Good to see you.
SCARBOROUGH: Such a touching ceremony. Of course, you just saw Ms.
Quayle right there breaking down.
We‘ll have much more. Stick around. We‘ll be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: Tonight, America and the world says goodbye to the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan.
Ronald Reagan believed like another great president before him that America was the last great hope for a dying world. And he did believe in the greatness of America and believed that greatness came from the American people and not its federal government. And Reagan was optimistic. His critics said that he was fatally optimistic. But Ronald Reagan proved that he was on the right side of history, and where America went, things got better.
Now, it‘s your chance to share memories of the great communicator with us. E-mail me at Joe@MSNBC.com and I‘ll read them at midnight.
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