Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis officially suspended his 2024 presidential campaign on Sunday—and was swiftly mocked for sharing a post announcing the suspension that featured a fake quote attributed to Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom best known for leading the nation during World War II.
In his announcement, DeSantis said he would leave the race and confirmed he would endorse former President Donald Trump, to whom he came second in the Iowa caucuses by 30 percentage points:
"Trump is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear. I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee, and I will honor that pledge. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear.”
To top it all off, he attributed the following "quote" to Churchill:
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts."
"While this campaign has ended, the mission continues.”
You can see DeSantis' post and hear what he said in the video below.
Winston Churchill never made the quoted remark and the International Churchill Society, dedicated to studying Churchill's life and works, has found no evidence that Churchill ever made this statement, saying it came to this conclusion “on careful research in the canon of fifty million words by and about Churchill, including all of his books, articles, speeches and papers.”
The organization said the following on its website:
“We can find no attribution for either one of these, and you will find that they are broadly attributed to Winston Churchill. They are found nowhere in his canon, however."
“An almost equal number of sources found online credit these sayings to Abraham Lincoln ― but we have found none that provides any attribution to the Lincoln Archives.”
Interestingly, although Churchill is known for saying, "Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm," even this phrase is not definitively credited to him.
DeSantis was immediately mocked as a result including by Mark Hamill, who offered up a quote of his own.
Others were more than willing to pile on.
After campaigning in South Carolina, DeSantis returned to Tallahassee late Saturday and his scheduled appearance at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon was canceled.
Even before DeSantis officially announced the end of his campaign, Trump had already begun speaking about it in the past tense. At a Saturday evening rally in Manchester, Trump said of DeSantis, "May he rest in peace."
The previous week, signs had emerged that DeSantis was considering stepping back from the race. He started discussing the possibility of the 2028 election and acknowledged that Trump had secured a decisive victory in Iowa.