Few people thought former Hollywood star Ronald Reagan could ever become president — until he was elected twice.
Few people thought business mogul Donald Trump could be a serious presidential candidate — until he shot to the top of most polls amid a crowded GOP field.
Here is a Newsmax look at 15 things The Donald has in common with The Gipper.
1. Like Reagan, Trump is a Washington outsider. Reagan was twice elected governor of California but never served in Congress. Trump has never held political office. And then as now, being an outsider is a virtue to voters who desperately want change.
2. Reagan was dismissed as a serious candidate, and so was Trump. "The establishment critics said the exact same things about Reagan," Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan aide who is close to the Trump campaign, told The Telegraph. "Reagan was ridiculed as 'not serious' and a B-movie actor, and they said over and over he could never win — until he did. It's happening again. I really feel it."
3. Trump and Reagan were both attacked by the establishment as being extreme and simplistic. Yet people were so fed up with the state of the country under Jimmy Carter that Reagan beat him in a landslide. As Trump's showing in the polls demonstrates, people are once again fed up with establishment politics.
4. Trump shares Reagan's "passion" for what he believes in. Reagan son's Michael Reagan recently told Newsmax that Trump speaks with the kind of passion his father so brilliantly conveyed. "That's why America right now has surrounded Trump, in this case, because he's off the cuff and he speaks from his own passion."
5. Trump espouses similar views as Reagan on illegal immigration. Trump created controversy — and won support from many — for his outspoken comments about illegal immigration and the lack of border security. Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986, making it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants and requiring employers to attest to their employees' immigration status.
6. Trump is a straight-talker, like Reagan. He doesn't hide behind political correctness, as his comments about illegal immigration demonstrate. Reagan talked to people from the heart and was dubbed The Great Communicator.
7. Trump began as a Democrat before becoming a Republican. Reagan, too, was initially a liberal Democrat, but he backed Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon and went on to register as a Republican in 1964.
8. Trump, like Reagan, has been a TV star. Reagan hosted "General Electric Theater" in the 1950s and "Death Valley Days" in the 1960s. Trump found TV stardom with "The Apprentice" and "Celebrity Apprentice."
9. Trump seeks to follow in Reagan's footsteps and succeed a liberal, big-government Democratic president. And Barack Obama is even further to the left than Jimmy Carter was.
10. Trump and Reagan both opposed runaway public employees' unions. Trump told Bill O'Reilly that he thought Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is "doing what's right for his state" by reining in public workers' unions. Reagan in August 1981 fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers after they went on strike in violation of a federal law barring government unions from striking.
11. Trump shares Reagan's overall aim as president: to make America great again. Trump said he began the process of trademarking the slogan "Make America Great Again" and criticized some of his GOP opponents for using it. Reagan prominently featured the slogan on his campaign materials.
12. Trump favors tax reduction, as did Reagan. The reduction in tax rates championed by "Reaganomics" sought to spur economic growth. Trump has called for a repeal of the estate tax, the lowering of taxes on capital gains and dividends, and reducing the corporate tax rate to zero to spur job growth.
13. Trump, like Reagan, is pro-life. In 1982, Reagan stated: "Simple morality dictates that unless and until someone can prove the unborn human is not alive, we must give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it is (alive). And, thus, it should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Trump said in April 2011 that he was pro-life after years of being pro-choice.
14. Trump and Reagan both have defended gun rights and the Second Amendment. Reagan in 1986 signed the Firearm Owners Protection Act, which among other things ended federal records-keeping on ammunition sales. He said if we give up "that part of the Constitution" that is the Second Amendment, "we give up part of our freedom and increase the chances that we will lose it all." Trump told Breitbart News in April: "It is so important that we maintain the Second Amendment and that we maintain it strongly. And one of the main reasons is because the good people, the upstanding people, follow laws and norms, but the bad ones don't."
15. Reagan was the first president who had been divorced. President Trump would be the second. Reagan divorced Jane Wyman before marrying Nancy Davis in 1952. Donald and Ivana Trump divorced and he went on to wed Marla Maples in 1993 and Melania Knauss in 2004.