Ronald Reagan’s daughter: ‘There are a lot of Hunter Bidens in this world’

Patti Davis, the daughter of President Reagan, pointed to Hunter Biden’s ongoing trial as a symptom of all-too-common systemic drug addiction, looking less at its political impacts and more about what it says about the pressure of scrutiny and danger of illegal drugs.

“Hunter Biden’s legal case is, at its root, a story about the toxic, careless choices made by a drug addict,” she wrote in a New York Times op-ed Monday. “It’s about the fact that addicts weave tragedy into their own lives and into the lives of those around them. Addicts don’t think about other people; they think about themselves. And they lie — that’s how they supply their addiction.”

Biden, the president’s son, is on trial for gun charges, accused of illegally purchasing a handgun while addicted to drugs. The jury began deliberations late Monday, and the trial has seen a whirlwind of testimony and evidence recalling his drug addiction in salacious detail.

Davis recounted that she struggled with drug addiction in her youth. She appeared sympathetic to Biden, saying she understood “what it’s like to live under a glaring, unforgiving spotlight that never dims.”

She encouraged the country to show him the same sympathy, seeing him not as a political figure but as a victim of drug addiction ravaged by past mistakes.

“There are a lot of Hunter Bidens in this world, people who fell in way over their heads, who long for someone to believe they can recover and construct their lives differently,” she wrote. “You just don’t hear about them on the evening news.”

Davis described Biden’s situation as one of tragedy, where a man of “every advantage and opportunity” still fell victim to drug addiction.

“How even though he has worked hard on getting and staying clean, his past mistakes and sins follow him, collide with him and demand to be addressed,” she wrote.

President Biden has supported his son throughout the trial, and first lady Jill Biden has repeatedly attended court in person, though the president has made clear that he will not interfere in the case in any way. When asked if he would ever consider pardoning his son last week, he said no.

In the president, Davis saw a man torn between protecting his child and running a country. In Hunter Biden, she saw a man who should be allowed to move on from his past.

“Addicts, like everyone else, have to be held accountable for their lies. But being held accountable under the judgmental eyes of the world means you’re defined by your sins, not by the person you’re trying to become,” she wrote. “Moving on is a grace bestowed on others, not you.”

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.