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Thursday, April 13, 2017

NC preacher turned pol puts to rest tired claim of GOP civil rights pedigree: "Sin is thinkin' bout that damn Lincoln!"

“I am a Ford, not a Lincoln. My addresses will never be as eloquent as Mr. Lincoln’s. But I will do my very best to equal his brevity and his plain speaking.”

- Vice President Gerald Ford, remarks on taking the oath of office, December 6, 1973.

"But if there's anyone who has mistakenly attached themselves to our party in the belief that we are not open to citizens of every race and religion, then let me remind you, tonight this hall belongs to the Party of Lincoln. And the exits which are clearly marked are for you to walk out of as I stand this ground without compromise."

- Republican presidential nominee Senator Bob Dole, acceptance speech, August 15, 1996.

“While I would have preferred that the first African-American president come from the party of Lincoln, the historic and monumental nature of today's inauguration is undeniable."

- Congressman, now Vice President, Mike Pence, Jnaury 20, 2009.

"This party does not prey on people's prejudices. We appeal to their highest ideals. This is the Party of Lincoln.

"When I see something that runs counter to who we are as a party and a country I will speak up. So today I want to be very clear about something: If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party there can be no evasion and no games. They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry."

- Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, March 1, 2016.

“I think the party of Lincoln wants to win the White House.”

- Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, June 4, 2016.

"Our party was founded to defeat slavery. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, signed the Emancipation Proclamation."

- Senator Ted Cruz, Republican National Convention, July 19, 2016.

The party of Lincoln, a sometimes laughable bragging point for diehards whose racial attitudes survived the Civil War intact, is long gone. Its dissolution began at least with Richard Nixon, who embraced a Southern strategy that pandered to racists and set the course for today’s GOP.

- Kathleen Parker, "The GOP is becoming the party of exclusion. Who wants to be a part of that?", The Washington Post, July 29, 2016.

"The GOP is the party of Abraham Lincoln. And I want our party to be the home of the African-American voter once again."

- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, August 20, 2016.

“This is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump."

- Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, August 24, 2016.

"By the way, that's not Republicans. We are the party of Lincoln. People who espouse those views, they're not Republicans. And we don't want them in our party, even if they're thinking about it. And I'm confident Donald Trump feels the same way."

- House Speaker Paul Ryan, on post-election racially-motivated assaults and events, CNN's State of the Union, November 13, 2016.

As a thumbnail indicator, the phrase “party of Lincoln” in The New York Times spiked to an all-time high in 2016. (The previous spike was in 1964, when Barry Goldwater was the Republican nominee.)

- Ibram X. Kendri, "The party of Lincoln? Yeah, that was racist too- The Republican catchphrase has a problem",, July 20, 2016.

A North Carolina Republican lawmaker is under fire after comparing Abraham Lincoln to Adolf Hitler in a Facebook comment.

Larry Pitmann, a representative in the North Carolina General Assembly, said Lincoln was the "same sort of tyrant as" the Nazi dictator, who was responsible for the deaths of millions.

Pittman, was responding to comments on Facebook criticizing him for introducing a bill in the North Carolina legislature that would render the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage inapplicable in his state.

"You aren't fit to hold public office in the United States of America if you don't respect the Supreme Court and the Constitution," one Facebook user wrote.

Pittman replied, "And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it? Lincoln was the same sort of tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional."

-  Alana Abramson, "North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls Abraham Lincoln a 'Tyrant' Like Adolf Hitler", Time, April 12, 2017.

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