Mike Reagan takes on
Ron Reagan

By WND Staff

WASHINGTON – Ron Reagan, son of the late Republican president, last night at the Democratic National Convention called on Americans to “cast a vote for embryonic stem-cell research” when they go to the polls in November.

But his older brother, Mike Reagan, says Ron doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is simply being used by the Democrats.

Michael Reagan

“I would love for Ron to get involved in the Alzheimers’ Foundation or the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation,” said Michael Reagan on his nationally syndicated talk radio show. ” I would love for that to happen. Ron Reagan, my brother – I love him. I would just hope he becomes more knowledgeable on the issue and honors our father.”

Ron Reagan delivered what he called a “non-political” speech at the Democratic convention in Boston last night. But it was widely perceived as an endorsement speech for John Kerry and the Democrats.

“He is basically saying vote for Kerry and there will be stem-cell research,” said Mike Reagan. “What I am saying is that there is already stem-cell research taking place. The media would have you believe – and my brother would have you believe – that stem-cell research is not going on. But it is.”

Ron Reagan told the 20,000 people assembled at the convention that stem-cell research may lead to the “greatest medical breakthrough in our or in any lifetime.”

In 2001, President Bush limited the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research, citing moral and ethical concerns about performing experiments with fertilized human embryos. Proponents of such research insist those restrictions interfere with efforts to develop new treatments for a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, which slowly killed the former president.

However, adult stem-cell treatments have actually shown far more potential in treating dread diseases. Preliminary research involving embryonic stem-cell research has been associated with the development of tumors.

“Now, there are those who would stand in the way of this remarkable future,” Ron Reagan said, speaking of potential discoveries, “who would deny the federal funding so crucial to basic research. A few of these folks, needless to say, are just grinding a political axe and they should be ashamed of themselves.”

Ron Reagan told the delegates that the choice in November is more than selecting one ticket over another.

“We can choose between the future and the past,” he said, “between reason and ignorance, between true compassion and mere ideology.”

Ron Reagan prefaced his remarks by saying: “A few of you may be surprised to see someone with my last name showing up to speak at a Democratic convention. Let me assure you, I am not here to make a political speech, and the topic at hand should not – must not – have anything to do with partisanship.”

He called embryonic stem-cell research the “greatest medical breakthrough in our or in any lifetime.”

The issue of stem-cell research took center stage for the Reagan family because of Nancy Reagan’s public support. The former first lady, along with other members of the family, has been very vocal in expressing the belief that the scientific community should be allowed to explore this controversial avenue in the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

While Ron Reagan, his mother, Nancy, and his sister, Patti, have weighed in in favor of embryonic stem-cell research, one member of the family opposes it.

As Michael Reagan put it recently: “The media continue to report that the Reagan family is in favor of stem cell research, when the truth is that two members of the family have been long time foes of this process of manufacturing human beings – my dad, Ronald Reagan during his lifetime, and me.”

“The media should keep in mind that we are also members of the Reagan family, and my father, as I do, opposed the creation of human embryos for the sole purpose of using their stem cells as possible medical cures,” said Michael Reagan.

Michael Reagan said embryonic stem-cell research could not have saved his father from the ordeal of Alzheimer’s disease.

“This is junk science at its worst,” he said.

Mike Reagan is a board member of the John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation and is heard on more than 200 talk-radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America network.