The thing that disturbs me the most about the Republican race for president is how hostile the candidates are toward one another.
In order to convince voters that they are worthy of occupying the White House, the candidates are distancing themselves from the president and using Ronald Reagan's mistakes to show why new blood is needed in Washington.
This is the way it seems to go every time I see the six GOP contenders on television.
"What do you think of the deficit, and if you became president what would you do about it?"
"I'm appalled by the waste and pork and cannot understand how anyone in his right mind could get us into such a mess."
"Do you blame Ronald Reagan for the huge debt?"
"No, I don't. But I do blame the people around him who never told him anything about it. That's why I want to be elected -- so no one will pull the wool over a mediocre president's eyes again."
"Do you believe a vice president should warn his president when the chief is practicing voodoo economics?"
"No, because there is nothing wrong with voodoo economics if done in moderation."
"I think the vice president should come clean with what he advised the president to do on the deficit and when he advised him to do it."
"All I can say is I gave the president the best advice he ever had, but I would never tell the public what it was."
"Did you tell the president to exchange the Stealth bomber and 100 MX missiles for hostages in Iran?"
"As vice president I have no intention of revealing what I said to the president. Sure, he's made a lot of mistakes -- but who hasn't? I'm not going to criticize him just because he is a lame duck. And while I'm on the subject, I would like to see the senator's tax returns for the last 10 years so we know what kind of blind trust his wife has been in."
"I'm not releasing my tax returns until you release your notes on what you and the president said to Lyn Nofziger."
"Gentlemen, can I just say something? While you are arguing about Iran and blind trusts, the dollar is falling. I know who is responsible for the fall. His initials are R.R."
"Let's get on to the INF treaty with the Soviets. It's a bad treaty, and speaking as a Republican and a friend who has always admired the president, I say Ronald Reagan should be impeached for signing it."
"As vice president I say there is nothing wrong with the treaty. Sure, it's flawed, but so is Senator Dole's thinking on soybean reform. I've asked the senator to produce his financial records, and all he wants to do is impeach the president."
"Spoken like a true wimp. You wouldn't know a good INF treaty if you saw one. That's the trouble with being vice president. You have had no experience in how to run a government."
"Get off my back, because I'm liable to shoot a Silkworm missile over your bow."
"Why did you say that?"
"I always get applause when I use it in my speeches. I think we should talk about schools."
"I'm for good schools."
"So am I."
"I think when kids go to good schools they learn to read and write."
"The Republican Party must start anew. Do we want the old, tired ways of Bush and Reagan? The answer is no. We must reach out to the grass roots and have them tell our leaders, "Washington does not understand America.' We have to get rid of those who work inside the Beltway and replace them with those of us who live at Trump Tower in Council Bluffs, Iowa."