Trump: Like Reagan 'I have evolved on many issues'

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump said he invokes the name of Ronald Reagan when his conservatism is criticized
  • Trump said that like Reagan, he has evolved on some issues as he's grown older

(CNN)Donald Trump says he's not the only Republican who has become more conservative as he's grown older -- pointing to Ronald Reagan as he defended himself against criticism from Ted Cruz and the National Review.

Asked about his strategy when he's accused of not being a "consistent conservative," Trump said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday: "Well, usually, I just evoke the name Ronald Reagan."
"I mean, Ronald Reagan was a fairly liberal Democrat and he evolved over years and he became more and more conservative. And he was not a very conservative person, but he was pretty conservative and he ended up being a great president," Trump said.
    He acknowledged that he has evolved on some issues, but also said he's held firm on others.
    "I have evolved on many issues. There are some issues that are very much the same, I've been constant on many issues," he said. "But I have evolved on certain issues."
    Trump said he has "evolved through experience and through as you grow older, you see things and you watch things and you study things."
    Then, he returned to his Reagan comparison.
    "But Ronald Reagan was the exact same thing, he was actually much more liberal than I was. He was fairly liberal as a Democrat, a lot of people don't know that," Trump said. " And he became a fairly conservative person, but he did become a great president."