“In the eight years that my father was President of the United States I never once sat in the room with business associates and called him on the phone. If I had, the Democrats would have skewered me.”
When I posted that tweet the other day, it got a huge response.
As we know from this week’s big whistleblower news, over the course of 10 years – while Joe Biden was vice president and when he was out of power – Hunter Biden put his father on speaker phone at least 20 times during meetings he was having with foreign business people.
That bombshell proved Joe Biden was lying all those times he told voters and the media that he never once talked with Hunter about his sweet business deals with Ukrainian gas companies and Chinese banks.
It also showed how differently Joe and my father were when it came to using the power and political influence of the presidency to enrich their extended families and friends.
The story of how my father “helped” me goes back to Election Night in 1966.
My dad was running for governor of California. I was 21 and working on a trucking dock in Los Angeles, loading oil well freight from 5 p.m. to 1:30 am.
I had just dropped out of college. And when I did, my parents laid down the law.
They said, “While you were in college, we picked up the tab. But now that you’ve dropped out, you get to pick up the tab. Find a place to live and get a job.”
The victory celebration for my dad was at the old Ambassador Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I got off early from work and remember going up to my father and congratulating him on winning the governorship.
The next thing I did was ask him for a job.
I thought any politician would immediately open the door and give their offspring a job if they wanted it or needed it. But my father said, “I don’t believe in nepotism.”
I guess I should have asked for the job before I voted for him, but he really believed what he said.
When he became president, I got a call from White House lawyer Fred Fielding. It was a simple conversation.
“You are going to be approached by many people who will want to use you to get to your father,” he said. “They will offer you all kinds of things. Please, before you do anything, pick up the phone and call me. Here’s my number.”
Anytime anyone would call me – and many people did – I’d call Fielding. I’d tell him I was approached by X, Y or Z and what they wanted me to do.
Most of the time, Fielding would say, “You’re calling me, so your gut is probably telling you it’s not a good deal. So go with your gut.”
That’s what I did – and still do – because the attempts to buy the Reagan brand have never really stopped.
In 2019, when Volodymyr Zelensky was running for president of Ukraine I was offered $100,000 just to fly to Kiev to endorse Zelensky.
It wasn’t because I knew anything about Zelensky or Ukraine, it was because of who my father was.
I didn’t have a White House lawyer to call for advice, but I had the knowledge I needed to make the right decision. I went with my gut and declined the Ukrainian offer, figuring it would not look good if I was ever hauled before a congressional committee.
Based on the revelations about the Biden family’s dirty operations, First Son Hunter obviously does things differently. So does his dad.
If I had called my father about endorsing Zelensky he would have told me not to do it, but he was a better kind of president.
He understood he was serving the country. He wasn’t asking the country to serve him – or his family.
Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @reaganworld on Twitter.