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GOP hopefuls were asked who the best living president is. They mostly talked about Reagan.

Ronald Reagan, our greatest living ex-president.
Ronald Reagan, our greatest living ex-president.
Dirck Halstead. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

CNN's Chris Moody did some impressive trolling this weekend, quizzing several Republican hopefuls visiting South Carolina with a question none of them wanted to answer — who's the greatest living president?

It shouldn't be too difficult a question — there are only five living presidents, and three are Democrats — yet every GOP contender was incredibly reluctant to respond. And amusingly, several wanted to talk about Ronald Reagan (who died in 2004) instead:

  • Donald Trump: "I really talk about a president who died relatively recently, Ronald Reagan."
  • Bobby Jindal: "Obviously I think the greatest president of my lifetime is Ronald Reagan."
  • Ted Cruz: "I'll leave that for the people to decide. Certainly the greatest president of recent generations is Ronald Reagan."
  • Ben Carson: "I don't know. I'd have to think about that one for a long time."
  • Rick Santorum: "Probably a Bush."

Santorum's answer gets to the heart of things. Certainly none of these GOP hopefuls would name one of the three Democrats, Barack Obama (no way), Jimmy Carter (obviously not), and Bill Clinton (could be viewed as an endorsement of his wife's candidacy).

But that means the only options left are two Presidents Bush. And as Moody points out, both just so happen to be close blood relatives to Jeb Bush, a rival.

The problem goes even deeper. Both Presidents Bush are quite controversial among different parts of the electorate. If you say George W. Bush is the greatest, you could turn off general election voters, since he left office so unpopular. His father, though, is hated by many conservatives for raising taxes — and, of course, failed to win a second term.

So you can understand why so many wanted to change the subject to the beloved but unfortunately no longer with us Ronald Reagan. Head over to CNN to watch Moody's full, hilariously awkward video.