Last week, Gallup released the results of a poll finding that Americans viewed Ronald Reagan as the greatest president. That elicited some consternation from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. On his Monday program, he took a shot at poll respondents, suggesting they had a “limited memory.”
“Abraham Lincoln at No. 2,” Matthews said. “The greatest president in history according to the American people with their limited memory is Ronald Reagan. Keep in mind these are not historian rankings, these are people’s.”
Those comments came during the lead-in to Matthews’s much-advertised special about former President Bill Clinton, “The President of the World,” which made even the less-than-conservative television critic at the Los Angeles Times wonder if Matthews had “gone soft.”.
The comments about Ronald Reagan also caught the attention of his son Michael Reagan, who said on Fox News Channel’s “America Live” on Tuesday that Matthews was upset because that poll didn’t agree with his opinion.
“It seems that unless there is a tingling going up his leg, he really doesn’t feel it,” Reagan said. “It just shows you really how out of touch he is because they asked the American people – they asked Democrats, Republicans, independents – what they thought, who they believe was the No. 1 president in their lifetimes or forever if you will. And Chris just doesn’t want to buy into it because he has his favorite. He thinks his favorites are the righteous favorites. He thinks he’s always right and unfortunately he’s always wrong.”
When questioned by host Megyn Kelly if the younger Reagan really thought Americans adored his father, he explained Ronald Reagan was loved for a reason.
“What a concept to love somebody, who basically might I just say is the reason they loved Ronald Reagan was because Ronald Reagan loved them,” Reagan added.