While both are known for slashing taxes and cutting spending, Reagan also supported many later tax increases and backed raising the government's borrowing authority many times. Thatcher raised her nation's value-added tax.
The two had vastly different governing styles. Reagan projected radiant optimism and cheerful agreeability. Thatcher, who came to be known as the "Iron Lady," exhibited relentless determination.
And they sometimes disagreed. For instance, Thatcher didn't get the level of support she wanted from Reagan during the Falklands War crisis. And Thatcher was miffed and annoyed by Reagan's 1983 invasion of the tiny Caribbean island nation of Grenada.
Still, "she was a great partner with the United States," said former top State Department official Nicholas Burns, including being the one who persuaded Reagan that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was "someone we can do business with."
Apparently her warmth with Reagan didn't fully convey to Bush, Reagan's successor.
While she fully supported Bush on confronting Saddam Hussein after Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, she was a little concerned about his resolve. "So this was the reason I said, 'Look, George, this is no time to go wobbly," she later recalled.
The elder Bush issued a statement Monday declaring: "America has lost one of the staunchest allies we have ever known."
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