Former Nancy Reagan Chief of Staff and “True Reagan” Author Jim Rosebush discussed Ronald Reagan’s life and what made him and his presidency so special Tuesday on FOX Business Network’s Mornings With Maria.
“It was his character, but he kept it so quiet that no one really knew. Everyone today knows what Reagan did, they know that they felt safe under Ronald Reagan, they knew that he was protecting them, but they don’t know what gave him that strength of character and it was really his upbringing from his family, he was the son of a preacher but no one really knew it,” Rosebush told Maria Bartiromo.
Rosebush delved into Reagan’s faith and its impact on his speeches as president.
“Much like Abraham Lincoln who grew up only reading two books, the works of Shakespeare and the Bible, just like Reagan as well. That gave him not only a moral code of values but it also gave him an ability as an orator because he patterned his speaking after the phrasing of the Bible and 96% of his speeches he either quoted from the Bible or made reference to it. Previous presidents had done it an average of 46%.”
Rosebush then weighed in on the role of humor in Reagan’s political success.
“Reagan had a saying on his desk; ‘There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.’ This was part of the genius of Ronald Reagan. He didn’t care about polls, he didn’t care about if he was getting accolades or not and that allowed him to be able to use humor in a self-deprecating way and it worked,” Rosebush said.
The former chief of staff went into greater detail about the role of humor in the Reagan White House.
“On that score of using humor, Nancy Reagan would get on the phone with comedy writers and I would often observe her listening to comedy writers, hearing great stories, because people would line up outside the Oval Office to tell the president the daily joke and it was a competition on the staff. And I always felt inadequate if I didn’t have a good story for him in the morning. He loved to hear great stories and he would roar with laughter. And of course he loved to tell them.”
Rosebush explained how Reagan’s faith impacted his famous “Tear Down this Wall” speech.
“If you read the rest of the speech, he says ‘I’m for tearing down every wall that is built between a man and individual liberty, between a man and his God.’ So the most famous words are ‘tear down this wall’ but he says tear down all walls that separate a man from his faith.”
But on how Reagan might have felt about Donald Trump’s calls to build a wall, Rosebush responded, “I think he’d be mortified…He wanted everyone to come here and enjoy the freedoms that we have as Americans. But I think he never would have envisioned people coming here to destroy America.”