Ron DeSantis Posts Fake Winston Churchill Quote After Suspending Campaign

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Ron DeSantis Posts Fake Winston Churchill Quote After Suspending Campaign

In a social media post on Sunday announcing that he is suspending his presidential campaign, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shared a quote falsely attributed to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Just days before the New Hampshire primary election, DeSantis announced that he was ending his presidential bid in a video posted to X, formerly Twitter. In both the caption of the post and while speaking in the clip, the governor attributed a quote to Churchill that he never said, according to the International Churchill Society (ICS), an organization dedicated to “preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.”

In his post, DeSantis shared the caption: “‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’ – Winston Churchill.”

At the end of his video, the governor also said that “Winston Churchill once remarked” before he said the fake quote.

Newsweek reached out via email on Sunday to representatives for DeSantis for comment.

DeSantis Ends Presidential Campaign
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a presidential campaign event on Wednesday in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. In a social media post on Sunday announcing that he is suspending his presidential campaign, DeSantis shared a quote falsely attributed to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Brandon Bell/Getty

Historians and scholars with ICS have found that while the quote is widely attributed to Churchill, the late prime minister never said or wrote that phrase or a similar quote that’s often misattributed to him, “Defeat is never fatal. Victory is never final. It’s courage that counts.”

“Not only did Churchill never say those words—he never said the similar words more usually attributed to him, which are: ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts,'” ICS wrote on its website. “We base this on careful research in the canon of fifty million words by and about Churchill, including all of his books, articles, speeches and papers.”

In response to Newsweek’s request for comment and to confirm that the phrase was misattributed to Churchill, ICS Director of Publications David Freeman said there is no recorded evidence that the prime minister said those words or wrote them.

“As indicated on our website, there is no documented attribution of Churchill making this statement,” Freeman said on Sunday night.

People on X, meanwhile, were quick to point out DeSantis’ blunder.

User Outspoken posted: “Wrong DeSantis ends his pathetic presidential campaign, endorses Trump, and attributes a quote to Winston Churchill, who never said those words. So on point.”

Attorney Bradley P. Moss replied to DeSantis’ post on X and wrote: “Churchill never said that.”

Dominic Pino, a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow at National Review Institute, shared the governor’s social media post and wrote: “DeSantis drops out with a fake Churchill quote. International Churchill Society: ‘We can find no attribution for either one of these…They are found nowhere in his canon…An almost equal number of sources found online credit these sayings to Abraham Lincoln.”

DeSantis Shares Fake Churchill Quote
In a social media post announcing he is suspending his presidential campaign, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attributed a quote to Winston Churchill that the former British prime minister never said, according to the International Churchill Society
X

DeSantis announced he was exiting the 2024 presidential race about a week after he lost to Donald Trump in the Iowa Republican caucus. The former president received 51 percent of voter support while DeSantis garnered 21.2 percent and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley received 19.1 percent.

“I am today suspending my campaign,” DeSantis said in his Sunday video. “I’m proud to have delivered on 100 percent of my promises and I will not stop now.”

The Florida governor then endorsed Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, and said: “It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance. Trump is superior to the current incumbent Joe Biden, that is clear. I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear.”

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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