Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House and 2012 presidential candidate, and Craig Shirley, author of numerous books about Ronald Reagan, posited in Time Magazine that the rise of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz constitutes the reassertion of the Reagan wing of the Republican Party. It turns out that they are half right. Gingrich and Shirley make the mistake that a number of conservatives in the media do by conflating the two different politicians, based solely on the fact that the Republican establishment hates them both..
The problem with looking at Trump and Cruz as two peas in a pod is that they are two entirely different people, particularly in temperament. Cruz is passionate but measured on the stump. Trump is a blowhard, bloviating vulgarian. The former is far closer to the style and manner of the Gipper than the latter. Reagan would never have denigrated women or gotten into twitter wars with members of the media as Trump has. Reagan was a gentleman of the old school, something that no doubt irritated feminists but was endearing nevertheless.
The two men have similar policy views, but with a number of glaring differences. Trump refuses to touch entitlement spending, an absolute necessity if the federal government is ever to come to grips with its yawning budget deficit. Cruz recognizes that entitlements need to be reformed to stop a debt crisis from eventually bringing down the economy of the United States. Similarly, Reagan attempted to deal with entitlements, but sadly, because of Democratic opposition, did not entirely succeed.
Reasons exist to believe that whatever conservative positions Trump has are for the edification of the voters and not firmly held convictions.
His immigration stance is undermined by the fact that his has employed foreigners, some of them illegal, in his various business enterprises. He used to be pro-choice, but now that he is running for president he is suddenly pro-life. The examples of such election year conversions are endless.
Cruz, whatever one says about him, had been consistent in his beliefs, changing, as he did on the H1-B issue, only when new information caused him to.
In short, Cruz, as Rush Limbaugh pointed out, is the closest to Reagan that American has ever enjoyed since the Gipper left public life. Trump is something else entirely, and he is certainly no Ronald Reagan.