Gingrich Misquotes The Declaration Of Independence

June 17, 2009 10:36 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

In a new column, Newt Gingrich sums up his conservative values in one misquoted sentence from the Declaration of Independence.

Today, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a new column in Human Events titled "Don't Tell Me It Can't Be Done." Drawing on the lessons of Ronald Reagan, Gingrich outlines his principles for a Republican comeback, which include "being inclusive" without "going wobbly." In addition, he points to the Declaration of Independence to support his conservative values:

If you go to the National Archives, you will find the words that are fundamental to America written in the Declaration of Independence:

"We are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Gingrich goes on to explain how that one sentence dictates our "deep moral obligation" to "save the unborn," fight "judges like Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor," and oppose health care "rationing." But there is one glaring problem, among others, with Gingrich's claim -- he misquotes the Declaration of Independence.

The document actually reads:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Sure, Gingrich has the gist of it. But if you're going to base your political philosophy on one sentence, you should probably get it right. 

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