Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr (R., CA): Ronald Reagan Would Never Be Elected Today

For the reasons discussed here and here, I find it difficult to disagree with this:

HUNTER: This is it folks. This is it. There is nothing after 2012. […] I don’t care if it’s a more moderate/former liberal like Ronald Reagan, who would never be elected today in my opinion. If it’s someone like him or a hardcore conservative, you gotta elect the most winnable person this time. I know it sounds bad, but Congress makes the law. You’ve got a conservative Congress. You’re one third there. […] You gotta vote and get behind an electable person for president. I know after what I said, me saying that doesn’t go hand in hand. Obama’s going to raise a billion dollars. He’s going to hold on to this thing, the communists in this country, the community organizers in this country, are going to hang on for dear life. This is it for them. If they can change the balance of the scale of this country, they will affect it until our downfall.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. sam says:

    Let me be the first — forget “elected”, he’d never get nominated.

    Oh, and keep on with “communist” BS, Duncan. That’ll get the independents’ juices flowing in your party’s direction.

  2. john personna says:

    Everyone knows the communists have the billion dollars … no, wait …

  3. An Interested Party says:

    Talk about mixed messages….on the one hand, he sensibly admits that even the sainted Reagan would be too moderate for many of today’s conservatives and Republicans, and then he goes on with the bat$hit insane nonsense about the “communists” and the “community organizers”…please…

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    For a San Diego guy Rep. Hunter can get a bit hysterical at times. That said, it appears all he’s really saying is that Rambobama is so hideous it’s important for the GOP to nominate the most electable candidate and then to vote for that person come hell or high water. That makes abundant sense.

    As far as Reagan goes, certainly he could win a GOP primary in this day and age, the same way that McCain — in various respects a moderate/liberal and a pariah to the far right — easily won the ’08 nomination. There’s a difference between the Internet and talk radio and reality. Even last year in the midst of the so-called “Tea Party” nonsense for every Sharron Angle there was a Mark Kirk and for every Christine O’Donnell there was a Dan Coats and for every Rand Paul there was a Roy Blunt and a Rob Portman. Not everyone who votes in GOP primaries is a “dittohead”. Not even close.

    If Romney wins next year’s primary and then especially if he were to unseat Rambobama won’t that settle this issue once and for all? In that event will we still need to obsess on the Internet over the far right? I guess only time will tell.

  5. The Q says:

    Romney, sure he will create plenty of jobs…in CHINA..

    Romney, if you like John Kerry’s consistency (I voted for it before I voted against it) vote for Mitt.

    Romney, a man of the people (yeah, I shot small varmints as a kid)

    Obama, ceteris paribus, will beat Romney pretty handily if the economy improves even a little.

  6. Cynic in NY says:

    Lets see the conservative God never eliminated entitlements like he campaigned against, he loved war, raised the debt, didn’t make a dent in the abortion battle among other things. I can’t see much difference between him and the current crop of clowns with Dr. Paul being the only exception. Just like his old man, Jr isn’t too bright.

  7. This comment is foolish and stupid. Of course he’d be nominated and elected- come on, Romney is even more moderate than Reagan ever was, and he is likely to be the GOP nominee. The Republican Party is a big-tent party filled with lots of different types of people, including conservatives and tea party and libertarians, but also a lot of moderates and independents. For every Bachman or Palin, there is a Synder or Romney of Huntsman. To suggest that Reagan wouldn’t be elected or nominated is to demonstrate stupidity and lack of knowledge.

  8. sam says:

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    This comment is foolish and stupid. …

    Too true. See, Responsible Governing v. Ideological Purity.

  9. mantis says:

    The Republican Party is a big-tent party filled with lots of different types of people

    Good one. Tell another.

  10. anjin-san says:

    The Republican Party is a big-tent pup-tent party


  11. Nightrider says:

    It seems that one should account for the fact that if Reagan were 60 years old now he probably would have taken some different positions over the years up till now than he did. For one thing, the real Reagan would have been a formative President for him when he was young, rather than FDR. And people change with the times, especially politicians. I suspect he could get himself elected today.