McCain: Trump is nothing like Reagan

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRomney forced into GOP primary for Utah Senate nomination Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees MORE (R-Ariz.) dismissed the idea that there are any comparison between President TrumpDonald John TrumpClinton takes swipe at 'false equivalency' in media coverage of 2016 election Trump asked Netanyahu if he actually cares about peace: report Official: Trump to urge North Korea to dismantle nuclear program in return for sanctions relief MORE and former President Reagan.

In an interview with David Axelrod for his CNN podcast “The Axe Files” that aired on the network on Saturday night, the former Obama adviser asked if McCain saw Trump as a “Reagan-like figure.”

“No, I don’t,” McCain answered.

"And I think it's pretty clear that there's a difference between, well, aren't we killers and the guy that stood there and said, 'Mr. Gorbachev, take down this wall,'" he said, referring to Reagan’s 1987 speech at the Berlin Wall.

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McCain was also recalling Trump’s February interview in which he seemed to be equating Russian President Vladimir Putin's tactics to the US.

“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?" he said at the time. 

“He spoke out for the captive nations, he spoke out for the people who were behind the Iron Curtain," McCain said about Reagan. "And after the Iron Curtain fell, there were thousands who said ‘I heard Ronald Reagan, I listened to the Voice of America, I listened to Radio Free Europe — he gave us hope.'

“That’s a pretty big difference.”

Ronald Reagan’s son Michael Reagan has previously commented that he believes his father would not be fond of Trump.

In July 2016, speaking about the then presumptive Republican nominee, Reagan said the 40th president "would be confused by Donald Trump and the way he's running the campaign.”

"I don't think he'd be appreciative of the demeaning style of Donald Trump — the way he's treated the other candidates — because my father knew that at the end of the day he had to bring everyone together to win an election."