April 7, 2013
It's been 10 years since the Charlottesville Republican Committee has hosted the Ronald Reagan Dinner. Sunday, they brought the event back to recharge republicans in central Virginia with some big names.
It's a night to celebrate President Ronald Reagan -- who he was and how his legacy is relevant to the United States and Charlottesville today.
"I think Reagan really resonates today because he brought such self-confidence to his role as president," said James Burnley, the former Secretary of Transportation for Reagan, "and his policies, which were highly controversial at the time,resulted in almost 20 years uninterrupted economic growth."
The last time the Charlottesville Republican Committee hosted a Ronald Reagan Dinner was the night the Iraq war began in 2003, so Sunday night's fundraising event comes at what the committee hopes to be an iconic time for them.
"It's time to honor the legacy of great Republicans and to move forward so we can be a real voice for Charlottesville voters," said Rick Sincere, the dinner's chairman. "This is just the first step. It's the beginning of a journey, not the end."
Former White House adviser Karl Rove and Burnley spoke at the event about the importance of the Republican party and remembering Ronald Reagan.
"Folks here tonight are here to both honor him and to think about what a giant he was. We all want a giant like that today because the country still has a lot of problems it needs to confront," said Burnley.
And with UVa students and graduate students in the crowd, Sincere says that is true sign of revitalization.
"None of them were born when Ronald Reagan was in office, yet they still honor his legacy. We need to just look back at the 1980s for inspiration and move forward from there."