Republican frontrunner Donald Trump revealed in 1987 that his view of the Reagan administration had soured near the end of the president's second term.
"Well, I'm a Republican and the Reagan administration was doing a great job for the psyche of this country after we went through the catastrophe previous to that, but the last couple years have been really bad for the Reagan administration," Trump said on Phil Donahue's show. "Unfortunately."
Throughout the Republican primary Trump has compared himself to Reagan and presented himself as Reagan's heir. "He wasn't a true, hardline conservative," Trump said last month. "But he was a conservative person, a conservative president. He was a great president."
Donahue had noted Trump had turned down hosting a fundraiser for Democrats after being asked by Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright. The host said Trump's father exemplified the private-public partnership in building housing for low income people.
"But Phil, you just don't have the programs anymore, you used to have a lot of government programs," interjected Trump. "I built a lot of that housing."
The Donald noted you couldn't afford such government programs which he said was "desperately needed," while the U.S. was spending money on foreign military bases overseas.
In 1991, Trump slammed Reagan on the Joan Rivers Show for driving up the deficit and the tax policy changes passed near the end of his presidency.
Trump's comments today in part, reflect, his more thematic view of Reagan. He like Reagan not so much for the things he did, but the attitude he brought to the Oval Office.
"I mean, Ronald Reagan, to me, was a great president," said Trump on Larry King Live in Oct. 1999. "And, whether you are liberal or you're conservative, people really view him as a great president. He'll go down as a great president and not so much for the things he did, it's just, there was a demeanor to him and a spirit that the country had under Ronald Reagan that was really phenomenal. And, you know, there was just a style and a class, and that a big part of the president, I mean, that's a really big part of being president. Ronald Reagan had it."