Reagan: Don’t Give Up Your Ideals in the Face of Losing

There was a day, folks, August of 1976, Ronaldus Magnus spoke to his campaign staffers, many of them in tears after a very narrow loss to Gerald Ford, the incumbent for the presidential nomination, the Republican Party. It was in Kansas City. And Reagan’s message was, “Don’t give up your ideals. Recognize that there are millions and millions of Americans who want what you want.”

Folks, we only lost this election by one and a half million votes. And here’s another thing to remember.

If the three million votes, the three million Republicans that everybody thought would turn out had turned out, three million Republicans did not vote, the statistical analysis is that if those three million had voted for Romney, Romney would have won the popular vote by a couple hundred thousand. We didn’t lose this because of immigration. We didn’t lose this because of women. We lost it because we didn’t turn out the base.

There were eight million Obama voters who did not vote this year as opposed to 2008. There was not more enthusiasm for Obama in this country. It was not conservatism that lost. It was not our ideals that lost. It was our campaign strategy. That’s where this was lost. Reagan’s words ring true. Don’t give up your ideals. Recognize there are millions and millions of Americans who want what you want.

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