Jim Spellman/WireImage Ron Reagan
"Well, they're certainly entitled to go campaign for their dad," Ron said of Trump's children. "My eldest brother and sister did that, and there's nothing wrong with that. When you cross the line is — I hate to say it here and I don't mean to be blunt — but we've got a bunch of grifters there in the White House. They're treating this as a grift."
Ron went on to explain that the Trump family is "mixing business with pleasure."
"They're using the hotels and the golf clubs to profit off the presidency," he argued. "Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have no qualifications whatsoever to be in the position they're in. Zero. Zip. And they're using it to make money, basically."
Discussing the current state of the Republican Party, of which his father was long the face, Ron said that his dad would be "horrified."
"He would be horrified by the Republican Party right now. The spinelessness in the face of this pathological entity in the White House right now would shock him," Ron said.
"Donald Trump has done a tremendous amount of damage to this party," he continued. "When I think of my father, I think of words like 'integrity,' 'decency,' 'dignity,' 'honor,' and 'patriotism.' Not nationalism, but patriotism. All of those qualities are in very short supply in this White House, and frankly, the Republican Party has been complicit in degrading those values."
(Ron's CNN appearance drew some response on social media, including from users who argued he was painting an overly rosy description of his father's administration in the '80s.)
Nonetheless, Ron said that Republicans today shouldn't look back to the time of his father but toward the future.
"I don't think the Republican Party or any other party can profit by looking backwards. We have to look forwards, whatever party you belong to, you have to look to the future," he said, adding that the United States is at a "crucial point in history."
"It's going to be a dark road or it's gonna be a more progressive road," he said. "So I don't think going back to the days of Ronald Reagan is the answer for the Republican Party, but they don't have much else. They really don't have much else."
The White House did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.