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TEA Party Congressman Dennis Rehberg’s supporters may be disappointed to learn that Rehberg is going on national news with the message that Jesus is not a religious figure.
If the namesake of one of the world’s largest religions isn’t a religious figure, I’m having a hard time figuring out what is.
But to be fair to Rehberg, perhaps to him a Jesus statue is more of a secular expression of the glorious power of Rome and a reminder of the inquisition that awaits any critics and ungrateful subjects. Who knows. It could just be that his comment was “not intended to be a factual statement.”
Rehberg’s attempt to convince Montanans that he’s “struggling like everyone else” follows remarks last year, when he told a crowd that the he owns the prominent sandstone rims that surround the city of Billings, Mont. “I actually own the rims all over the city,” said Rehberg, who is also suing Billings firefighters.
The entire transcript of Congressman Rehberg’s comments Thursday is below:
Questioner: What I want to know is where exactly is your priority?
Congressman Rehberg: Well, I’m glad as a group you park your politics at the door.
Congressman Rehberg: Because gratuitous comments like, “the rich like myself” … I’m a small businessman. My wife is a small businessman. You know she hasn’t taken a salary in ten years. She has not because of a result of the business. We’re struggling like everyone else with the economy…
Questioner: What’s your net worth?
Congressman Rehberg: I am land rich and cash poor. Like ranchers and farmers and small businesses throughout Montana. I have the same struggle [audible laughter in crowd], I have no employees, and we have the same struggle because we have the ability to borrow the money, but the problem is, in our particular case, if you don’t have the ability to pay back the loan what’s the reason go to the bank and borrow the money.
However, according to the book They Never Said it: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions, these words are not from Lincoln. The quotes were published in 1942 by William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister. He released a pamphlet titled Lincoln On Limitations, which did include a Lincoln quote, but also added 10 statements written by Boetcker himself.
This is not the first time that legislative Republicans have been caught misinforming the public about the words of President Lincoln.
On January 5, 2009, MT House Minority Leader Scott Sales (R-Bozeman) read a series of quotes that were attributed to former President Abraham Lincoln. A newspaper reporter looked into those quotes and found that they have been mis-attributed to Lincoln. Sales was forced to apologize on the House Floor on Jan 8, 2009, to address the issue, saying he’d been “duped” because he got his information from the internet.