Mark Weinberg, aide to former President Ronald Reagan, had some strong words for Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) after she claimed the former president used racial divisions to get ahead.
As IJR previously reported, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that Reagan believed that Black Americans were drains on the United States and he encouraged deepening the division between racial groups in America.
Watch Ocasio-Cortez’s comments:
Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) suggests former President Ronald Reagan was a racist and claims he "pitted white working-class Americans against brown and black working-class Americans to screw over all working-class Americans" pic.twitter.com/oxM2QPRgrB
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 9, 2019
“One perfect example, I think a perfect example of how special interests and the powerful have pitted white working-class Americans against brown and black working-class Americans in order to just screw over all working-class Americans, is Reaganism in the ’80s when he started talking about welfare queens. So you think about this image of welfare queens and what he was really trying to talk about was … this like really resentful vision of essentially black women who were doing nothing that were ‘sucks’ on our country.”
During an interview with “The Story” host Martha McCallum on Fox News, Weinberg explained that Reagan would have been angered by Ocasio-Cortez’s comments.
Watch Weinberg defend Reagan:
“I was appalled [at Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks] and I was angry and Reagan would have been angry, too. Because it isn’t true. It couldn’t be more untrue. It took a lot to get Reagan angry but this charge is one that would have made him so. He was raised, from being a little boy, to treat people equally and not to look at people on the basis of color. And for anyone to suggest otherwise is wrong, it’s dishonest, and it’s just not true.”
Weinberg pointed to some of Reagan’s accomplishments in striving for racial equality, including his appointment of Colin Powell to National Security Advisor and Lauro Cavazos as Secretary of Education. Powell was the first African American to hold the position as National Security Advisor and Cavazos was the first Hispanic American to hold a cabinet position.
He noted that Reagan would have been “very disappointed” by the rhetoric from Ocasio-Cortez.
“He would be very disappointed and he would tell people to do their homework and check their facts and not be so interested in personal publicity, but getting it right. I think it would disappoint him that it’s gotten so mean-spirited and so personal, but the first thing he would say is be accurate.”
Weinberg served under Reagan throughout his time in the White House and continued with the Reagan family after the presidency ended.