Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), a possible contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, invoked a dubious Abraham Lincoln quote while criticizing President Barack Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“You cannot build a little guy up by tearing a big guy down,” Kasich said. “Abraham Lincoln said it then, and he’s right.”
The problem is, Lincoln never said it. The line comes from a pamphlet published in 1916, according to the website PunditFact.
The pamphlet, written by the prominent minister William J. H. Boetcker, included several authentic Lincoln quotes alongside what PunditFact describes “a collection of [Boetcker’s] personal truisms largely centered on the benefits of laissez-faire capitalism.”
In fact, PunditFact noted, Lincoln signed the first federal income tax into law in 1861—and the tax was progressive. The fact-checking organization rated Kasich’s statement as “Pants on Fire.”