Rep. Kingston Remembers Reagan - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


Rep. Kingston Remembers Reagan

Earlier tonight, WTOC spoke to U.S. Representative Jack Kingston by phone. Kingston is in France for the 60th anniversary of D-Day; however, he took a few minutes to tell us his reaction to Reagan's death and what he will remember most about the former president.

"I'm greatly saddened," Kingston explained. "This affects, I think, a lot of people on a personal level because Reagan was such a fatherly, optimistic man. Despite his age, he never lost that twinkle in his eye and that true, patriotic belief in America. He came to power at a time when the American spirit was a little bit low. We were coming off of Vietnam and Watergate, high inflation and high unemployment. He just turned everything around; however, more than jobs, more than economic growth and lower taxes, it was really the optimism that he brought. I think we're still enjoying that optimism today."

Kingston also recalled the first time he met President Reagan, while volunteering with the Young Republicans during a fundraiser in Savannah. "We got to see him for free," he said, "It was just so exciting to get a chance to see him and then shake hands with him and talk with him. He acted like we were the only people in the world, despite the fact that we were in the room with these big donors."

Reagan had a way of motivating others, Kingston said. "He just had a way of inspiring you to do something for the cause of the country and put your own little, petty concerns behind you to reach out for something greater," he added. "That greater, for Ronald Reagan, was a greater tomorrow for America."

Will there be another Ronald Reagan? Kingston doesn't think so. "He had charisma. He had communication power. He had philosophical power and he had the guts to use them all. When he was going to say, "tear down that wall, Mr. Gorbachev," all the Washington insiders told him, "Don't say that! That's antagonistic!" "Don't call it the Evil Empire!" Yet, when he said something, he stuck with it and I think that kind of consistency is so rare in a politician," Kingston said. "I think to some, no matter who you are, if you're a staunch liberal, you still had trouble not admiring Ronald Reagan for sticking to his guns over and over again."

Reported by Liz Flynn,

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