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Politics

Scott Walker Shares Fake Thomas Jefferson Quote

"Thomas Jefferson said it best."

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On Thursday, "Team Walker" posted this tweet from the governor's account:

Thomas Jefferson said it best. ReTweet if you agree that we need a smaller, more conservative government. -TW

However, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation said it has “not found this particular statement in his writings” and that Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience is the real source of the quotation.

"That sounds like something that he might have said or written, but in fact, he did not," Anna Berkes the research librarian the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello in Virginia previously said.

According to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation:

Although the ideas expressed in this quotation may be in line with Jefferson's opinions to some extent, the exact phrasing is almost certainly not Jefferson's. However, this quotation has been associated with the ideological descendants of Jefferson's Democratic-Republican party for a very long time (see above), and this is likely why it ultimately came to be attributed to him. Merrill Peterson even referred to the quotation as a "Jeffersonian maxim" in The Jefferson Image in the American Mind (1960).

Scott Walker is good company — Rand Paul previously used the fake quote in his 2010 victory speech:

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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