RINO = Republican in Name Only.
That’s an insult no modern day Republican wants to hear, especially Presidential candidates. It’s insulting because it means the Republican doesn’t toe the party line and sells out their principles.
The right-wing organization known as the Club for Growth makes it their mission to attack Republican candidates who support any type of tax increase and they’ve tossed out the RINO insult many times. Republican officials fear the wrath of this well-funded organization and toe the line out of fear the Club for Growth will fund a primary challenge against them.
Ronald Reagan, the idol of the conservative movement, was a major RINO and would have been hated by the Club for Growth. As President, he signed into law 11 different tax increases and granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Some of those tax hikes were even used to fund government-run health care. Yikes!
Paul Talley, a conservative writer, wrote a mock article on how the Club for Growth would attack Reagan for his RINO policies:
"While Ronald Reagan showed promised early on in his presidency by passing one of the largest tax decreases in history, he spent the rest of his presidency signing into law 11 different tax increases. These tax hikes were enacted with the goal of paying for government-run health insurance, such as Medicare. While the eleven tax hikes did not fully make up for that initial tax cut, we find Reagan’s vulnerability to compromise somewhat alarming. True conservatives never increase taxes, much less 11 times."
The article, posted on Republican David Frum’s website, is very enlightening. If Reagan were a Presidential candidate today, the current recalcitrant and uncompromising Republican Party would have eviscerated him for his policies.
Here’s a link to Talley’s article.