The Ron DeSantis large language model appeared to hallucinate on Sunday, with the campaign running an apparently fake Winston Churchill quote as the title of the candidate’s drop-out announcement video.
It was a fitting touch for a campaign whose launch was a glitchy mess on Twitter, ending with another farce on the same site now called X.
“Defeat is never fatal. Victory is never final: it is the courage to continue that counts,” the quote attributed to Churchill by the DeSantis campaign read.
Unfortunately, Churchill not only never said that, but he didn’t even say the next closest quote that’s more commonly falsely attributed to him—amounting to what the International Churchill Society once referred to as “a double misquote” in a blog post on the same set of words.
According to the Churchill remembrance outfit, the former British prime minister and military leader never said anything close to the phrase that the DeSantis campaign attributed to him.
“We base this on careful research in the canon of fifty million words by and about Churchill, including all of his books, articles, speeches and papers,” the society says on its website.
The closest real Churchill quote falling within the wheelhouse DeSantis went for ends up being a less clear-cut option to slap over a resignation video.
“No one can guarantee success in war, but only deserve it,” is one suggestion offered by the Churchill society—“Success always demands a greater effort,” being the other.
The DeSantis campaign did not respond to a request for comment about the origin of the quote.