Reagan nearly TRIPLED the debt. And this was after campaigning for 8 years on the assertion that our debt ($900 billion at the time) was just unacceptable. Even if it was for defense, he said, it was no good, because no nation could truly be strong with an almost ONE TRILLION in debt.
To give GHW Bush a little credit, he did try to rein in the debt. He cancelled a small tax cut for the wealthy and the party was totally pi**ed at him. It cost him a second term.
GHW Bush only doubled the debt. But it was much bigger by then.
Clinton and Obama raised the debt also, but nowhere near as much as the Republican presidents. And Clinton and Obama delivered on the REPUBLICAN promise of a tax cut for the middle class. Reagan and the Bushes never did that.
Clinton got us within one year of a balanced budget. If GW Bush had just sat on his hands for a year, he would have had the first balanced budget in decades, in his first year in office! He would have taken credit for it too. But he simply COULD NOT WAIT to undo all of Clinton's good work. How? Why, with a big tax cut for gazillionaires, of course. That was more important to him than a balanced budget.
The Republicans have been chanting for years that the Democrats are the Tax and Spend Party. It's not true, but if it was true it's still better than Borrow and Spend.