Yesterday on MSNBC the Reverend Al Sharpton squared off against Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama about the debt ceiling negotiations, and Sharpton invoked Ronald Reagan to make his point. The Reverend pulled out an audio clip of Ronald Reagan from 1987 that apparently criticized gamesmanship surrounding the debt ceiling back then. Based on this, the Reverend instructed Congressman Brooks to "go back and do the right thing tonight" by raising the debt ceiling.
As to the audio clip in question, Reagan did say "Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinksmanship threatens the holders of government bonds, and those who rely on social security and veteran's benefits."
However, as seen in the full Reagan radio address here, Sharpton takes the excerpt he plays of the radio completely out of context. The Congress at that time was threatening a default to force President Reagan's signature on legislation meant to pave the way for new taxes. In that same radio address, Reagan said:
"For those who say more taxes will solve our deficit problem, they are wrong. Every time Congress increases taxes, the deficit does not decrease, spending increases. It's time for a clear and consistent policy to reduce the Federal budget deficit."
It would seem difficult to square this reality with the current position of the democrats and the Obama administration. But this did not deter Sharpton in the least. Watch the video below and see the Reverend Al make the case that Obama is somehow like Reagan when it comes to the national debt: