Search
Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Rick Santorum, George Pataki, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) , U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stand onstage during the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California.
Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Rick Santorum, George Pataki, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) , U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stand onstage during the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Sandy Huffaker—Getty Images

Here's How the Candidates Claimed Ties to Reagan

Given that the two CNN debates were held in the Reagan library, it was inevitable that the Republican candidates would try to tie themselves to the former president.

Here's how they did it:

George Pataki: "You know, when I think of Ronald Reagan, I think of his tremendous smile, a smile that reflected his optimism and his unending belief and faith in America and in Americans. And it was that belief in America that led to a great presidency, a presidency that led to decades of safety, security and prosperity for America. That's exactly the type of leadership we need in Washington today and that's why I'm running for President of the United States."

Sign up for POLITICS and more. View Sample

Bobby Jindal: "We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to rescue the idea of America, the choice for conservatives. Do we depend on proven conservative principles like Ronald Reagan did, or do we turn this over to a narcissist who only believes in himself?"

Mike Huckabee: "Most of us would like to pay tribute to a guy that when he got elected he didn't get elected by telling the American people how great he was. He got elected telling people how great the American people are."

Marco Rubio: "I'm honored to be here at the Reagan Library, at a place that honors the legacy of a man who inspired not just my interest in public service, but also our love for country."

Lindsey Graham: "I'm the only candidate tonight who served in the military while Ronald Reagan was our president and our Commander in Chief. It was one of the highlights of my life."

Scott Walker: "You see, in my lifetime, the greatest president was a governor from California. Ronald Reagan knew how to go big, and go bold."

John Kasich: "I think I actually flew on this plane with Ronald Reagan when I was a congressman, and his goals, and mine, really much — are pretty much the same. Lift Americans, unify, give hope, grow America, and restore it is to that great, shining city on a hill. Yes, he was a great one, and I learned much from watching him."

Read Next: Read the Full Text of the Second Republican Debate

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.