During an exclusive Web interview with "This Week," on Sunday, Peggy Noonan, who served as a speechwriter to former President Ronald Reagan, said the late GOP icon would not be a RINO, or "Republican in Name Only," if he were operating in today's political climate.
"I think Ronald Reagan now would be a popular figure and I think he would have sympathy for many of the tea party impulses economically with regard to, 'Please make the government less oppressive, less powerful, less squishing down the American people,'" Noonan, now a Wall Street Journal columnist, said of the former president who died in 2004 at age 93.
"Reagan would be very sympathetic to that. I mean if Reagan had been born in 1940 … they would be talking about him now as a possible presidential nominee. So I think that's where he'd be."
Noonan's comments follow statements in recent years by other prominent Republicans, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, questioning the ability of Reagan to thrive in today's Republican Party.
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