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Why Ronald Reagan’s daughter isn’t happy with Trump’s ‘MAGA’ slogan her father coined

Patti Davis, daughter of late U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, poses near artwork given to the resident at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., in 2004.
Patti Davis, daughter of late U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, poses near artwork given to the resident at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., in 2004. The Associated Press file

Ronald Reagan may have been the first to popularize “Make America Great Again,” but former first daughter Patti Davis says he’d be “horrified” by what President Donald Trump has done with the slogan, Yahoo News reports.

“I think it’s taken on, obviously, a completely different meaning because what it seems to mean now is ‘let’s make America white again and racist again and small-minded again,’ ” says Davis in a “Through Her Eyes” interview released Tuesday.

Trump trademarked “Make America Great Again” in 2012, but it was first coined by Reagan, CNN reported.

Davis, who acknowledged she has never been a Republican, also said Reagan “would be horrified” by the state of the modern GOP, Yahoo News reported. “I think he would be heartbroken, because he loved this country a lot and he believed in this country.”

Davis, 66, an author and former actress and model, was an anti-nuclear activist opposed to many of her father’s policies during his presidency.

She is the sister of Michael Reagan, Ron Reagan and the late Maureen Reagan. Ronald Reagan died of pneumonia in 2004 and her mother, Nancy Reagan, died in 2016.

Davis’s comments Tuesday aren’t her first criticisms of Trump’s presidency.

In a 2018 op-ed column in The Washington Post, Davis wrote that she missed the “dignity” of her father’s time in the White House.

“He would be appalled and heartbroken at a Congress that refuses to stand up to a president who not only seems ignorant of the Constitution but who also attempts at every turn to dismantle and mock our system of checks and balances,” Davis wrote.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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