Ron Reagan: Palin Has Nothing in Common with Dad

February 4, 2011 - 6:06 PM

President Ronald Reagan

This Jan. 20, 1981 file photo, shows President Ronald Reagan as he gives a thumbs up to the crowd while his wife, first lady Nancy Reagan, waves from a limousine during the inaugural parade in Washington following Reagan's swearing in as the 40th president of the United States. Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, marks the centennial anniversary of Reagan's birth. (AP Photo/File)

Los Angeles (AP) - Sarah Palin is honoring one Reagan and offending another with the same speech.

The former Alaska governor is scheduled to speak in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Friday at a tribute to former President Ronald Reagan - just one of the celebrations marking the centennial of the 40th president's birth on Feb. 6.

But his son, Ron Reagan, tells The Associated Press he doesn't see anything in common between his dad and the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, who was invited to speak by the event's sponsor, the conservative Young America's Foundation.

"Sarah Palin is a soap opera, basically. She's doing mostly what she does to make money and keep her name in the news," Reagan says.

"She is not a serious candidate for president and never has been," said Reagan, a political independent whose politics lean left.

But former Reagan speechwriter Kenneth Khachigian praised the choice of Palin to speak.

Palin was a teenager when Reagan took office in 1981 and like many young people "their lives and philosophy and political fortunes were shaped by the Reagan era. She can reflect on that as well as anyone could," Khachigian says.

The foundation was founded in the 1960s to promote conservative ideas on college campuses, and it purchased Reagan's former ranch in 1998. The foundation is not connected with the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Palin's political committee did not immediately respond to an e-mail Thursday seeking comment.