Lara Trump used an Abraham Lincoln quote when speaking at the Republican National Convention, but it appears she got the line from a Facebook meme as the former president never uttered the phrase.
“Abraham Lincoln once famously said: ‘America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves,'” Mrs Trump said, who is married to Donald Trump’s second son, Eric Trump.
That quote, attributed to the 16th president, has widely circulated online on social media sites like Facebook and was even listed on Goodreads as something Mr Lincoln said.
But fact checkers with the New York Times and USA Today, among other publications, were quick to point out that there is actually no record of the president saying those words.
Mr Lincoln did make a similar statement in a January 1838 speech prior to when he became president.
“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide,” he said.
That quote has been widely used throughout history and even made an appearance at Walt Disney World in the Hall of Presidents. An animatronic of President Lincoln would say the phrase during his monologue.
Misquotes of famous politicians, authors, and prominent figures is not rare. Quotes attributed to figures like President Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, and Mark Twain have circulated and then later been debunked as false.
To make fun of these misquotes that people will share, one meme has circulated on social media sites like Facebook that shows a picture of Abraham Lincoln next to a quote.
The quote reads: “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet just because there’s a picture with a quote next to it.”
Besides misquoting President Lincoln, Mrs Trump used her speech to claim that the 2020 election would decide whether America stays as is or turns “towards socialism”.
“This is not just a choice between Republican and Democrat or left and right – this is an election that will decide if we keep America America, or if we head down an uncharted, frightening path towards socialism,” she said.
Mrs Trump added: “Will we choose the right path and maintain the unique freedoms and boundless opportunities that make this country the greatest in the history of the world? The choice is ours.”
One major theme throughout the RNC was warning voters that America would lose its “freedoms” if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden were elected.