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In Debt Ceiling Deal, What Would Ronald Reagan Do? -- VIDEO In Debt Ceiling Deal, What Would Ronald Reagan Do? -- VIDEO In Debt Ceiling Deal, What Would Ronald Reagan Do? -- VIDEO In Debt Ceiling Deal, Wha...

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In Debt Ceiling Deal, What Would Ronald Reagan Do? -- VIDEO

Stakeholders from both sides use the Gipper's words.

President Reagan reads a prepared statement from the Oval Office following the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle on Jan. 28, 1986.(Executive Office of the President)

photo of Theresa Poulson
July 26, 2011

In his prime-time address on Monday, President Obama invoked the words of President Reagan while urging members of Congress to compromise on a deal to reduce the deficit and raise the debt ceiling. Two can play at that game: In responding to Obama's remarks, lawmakers and pundits used Reagan's words to suggest that Obama is lacking in leadership skills. Watch in the video below.

Using the words of Reagan isn't a new strategy for the White House. Press secretary Jay Carney has also been reading old letters from the Gipper to support Obama's case on fiscal policy. A TV ad from House Democrats asks "What Would Reagan Do?," and Obama has pointed to his predecessor's ability to forge a debt-ceiling deal. He noted in a recent radio address that "Ronald Reagan worked with [then-House Speaker] Tip O'Neill and Democrats to cut spending, raise revenues, and reform Social Security."

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