According to Larry King on Tuesday, the modern Republican Party is so conservative that it would reject Ronald Reagan. The former CNN anchor interviewed struggling Democratic candidate Lincoln Chafee.
After King wondered "what happened to your party, you old party," the former Republican Senator sneered: "It moved south. Back in the '60s, President Nixon had what they called the southern strategy." The presidential candidate suggested "you can see that now in the presidential campaign, beating up on immigration and all the social issues, abortion and gay marriage."
King, who created Ora TV for his daily show also carried on the Russian RT network, concluded, "In fact, that party now might even reject Nixon and Reagan."
Journalists love this argument. On March 1, 2015 ABC's Matthew Dowd contended that the Conservative Political Action Conference "as so far to the right “[w]hat would happen if Ronald Reagan, with that record, had shown up at this conference? He would have been booed."
On September 7, 2011, Chris Matthews proclaimed that Ronald Reagan "wasn't a social conservative."
A partial transcript is below:
Politicking With Larry King
LARRY KING: What brought you to the Democratic Party?
KING: As you see it, what happened to your party, your old party?
LINCOLN CHAFEE: It moved south. Back in the '60s, President Nixon had what they called the southern strategy.
CHAFEE: Now, the old south used to be for the Democrats and now it's Republican. And that changed the issues. And you can see that now in the presidential campaign, beating up on immigration and all the social issues, abortion and gay marriage. That's not the old Republican Party.
KING: In fact, that party now might even reject Nixon and Reagan.
CHAFEE: That's right. It's gone so far into the social issues, it's so difficult. John McCain and Mitt Romney found it so difficult to go back to the middle after going through those Republican primaries.