The Ronald Reagan Foundation has asked the Republican National Committee not to use the image or likeness of the former president in a fundraising appeal. The request comes after the Trump campaign sent out a fundraising email offering a “limited edition” set featuring two gold-colored coins with images of Trump and Reagan for a donation of $45. The set also included a 1987 image of Reagan shaking hands with Trump.
The RNC agreed to halt the fundraising effort “within seconds” of being asked.
Reagan Foundation Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Giller confirmed in a statement to The Hill that the foundation reached out to the RNC last week after hearing about the coin.
“We own the likeness of President Reagan and they used his image for the coin without our consent. We called the RNC and asked them to cease and desist the use of Pres Reagan on the coin and they agreed,” Giller said.
Reagan Foundation Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Giller told the Post that the RNC agreed “within seconds” to stop using the former president to fundraise for Trump’s reelection bid.
Was this really all about copyright infringement? There are some notorious RINOs on the Foundation Board, including Steve Forbes, Peggy Noonan, former Rep. Paul Ryan, and former California Gov. Pete Wilson, among others. It’s possible that the Foundation didn’t want to be associated with the president.
RNC Communications Director Michael Ahrens told The Hill that, “President Reagan was a proud Republican and supporter of a party that has carried on his fight for conservative principles of economic opportunity and limited government.”
That’s very true. So perhaps Reagan would have opposed this president and the current version of the Republican Party that appears to be allergic to “limited government”?
“His likeness is used by thousands of Republicans each year who gather around the country for ‘Reagan Dinners,’ and his library regularly hosts debates for our presidential candidates,” he said.
“Given that the Reagan Foundation just recently hosted the Trump family to raise money for its organization and has not objected to us using President Reagan’s likeness before, their objection came as a surprise. Even though we believe our use of the image was appropriate, we will stop emailing this fundraising solicitation as a courtesy,” Ahrens continued.
Raising money for the Foundation is one thing. Raising money for candidate Trump is quite another. And this close to the election makes the use of the Gipper’s image even more political.
Ronald Reagan was from an entirely different age — the “Age of Reagan.” That age is long gone. You no longer hear Democrats talk of Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman, even though those were Democratic talismans 40 years ago. Times change. People change. Political parties change. Trump is no more like Ronald Reagan than Reagan was like Teddy Roosevelt.
And the Republicanism that Reagan represented is as dead as the former president resting in Simi Valley.