"Ignored" fourth-place presidential candidate Ron Paul seems to be feeling frisky nowadays, just frisky enough to make an attack ad! How conventional. Is he selling out? No, he's just mocking Rick Perry like everybody else. But there's a certain angle to this ad that doesn't make much sense: That Ron Paul really liked Ronald Reagan's presidency.
"Young Texas congressman" Ron Paul is shown shaking Reagan's hand back in the day, while wearing a suit of what appears to be 100% gold. The narrator explains that Paul was one of the few congressmen to endorse Reagan when the latter was still considered too extreme to serve as president. And then we're told that when Al Gore ran in 1988 on an agenda to destroy the Reagan presidency (he didn't), his "Texas cheerleader" was none other than Rick Perry, Gore's Texas campaign manager. In sum: Ron Paul basically birthed Ronald Reagan, while Rick Perry has always hated Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, and Ronald Reagan. (There is a debate at Ronald Reagan's pad tomorrow night, is the thing.)
Leaving aside the fact that Perry and most other aspirational Texas politicians were still Democrats back in the '80s, let's look at what this very same Ron Paul was saying about Ronald Reagan in the 1988 campaign cycle — when Paul ran for president on the Libertarian party ticket. Here, via Ben Smith, is an excerpt from a letter Paul wrote to the RNC in 1987 resigning from the Republican party over the policies of the Reagan administration:
In 1976 I was impressed with Ronald Reagan's program and was one of the four members of Congress who endorsed his candidacy. In 1980, unlike other Republican office holders in Texas, I again supported our President in his efforts.
Since 1981, however, I have gradually and steadily grown weary of the Republican Party's efforts to reduce the size of the federal government. Since then Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. [...]
If Ronald Reagan couldn't or wouldn't balance the budget, which Republican leader on the horizon can we possibly expect to do so? There is no credibility left for the Republican Party as a force to reduce the size of government. That is the message of the Reagan years.
I conclude that one must look to other avenues if a successful effort is ever to be achieved in reversing America's direction.
I therefore resign my membership in the Republican Party and enclose my membership card.
Indeed, Ron Paul loved Ronald Reagan so much that he quit the Republican party in 1987 out of disgust.
And then there's this Paul quote from May, 1988: "The American people have never reached this point of disgust with politicians before. I want to totally disassociate myself from the Reagan Administration."
Ron Paul simply does not care for Ronald Reagan.