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Fact Check-Image shows false quotes attributed to Joe Biden and Thomas Jefferson

Social media users are sharing an image that attributes a misleading and a false quote to U.S. President Joe Biden and former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson respectively.

Examples can be seen (here) and (here).

The text in one post reads: “Yes Joe, we do care about our rights! Quit trying to take them away!”

The image includes a photograph of Biden with the quote: “The average American doesn’t care about their constitutional rights.”

Reuters previously debunked the very similar quote "No ordinary American cares about Constitutional rights" attributed to Biden in a fact check (here).

The quote comes from a gun control speech (here) then-Vice President Biden made at Western Connecticut State University on February 21, 2013, a little over two months after the horrific mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut (here).

At no point in the speech does Biden say, “No ordinary American cares about Constitutional rights.” Toward the end of the clip, he does say, “No law-abiding citizen in the United States of America has any fear that their constitutional rights will be infringed in any way. None. Zero.”

He was talking about this in the context of gun safety regulations.

The image in the posts being shared also includes an image of Jefferson with the quote: “The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the constitution.”

The Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia available on the Monticello website (here), which is a part of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, reveals that the quote is a spurious quotation.

Anna Berkes, public services and collection development manager at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, commented on the page (here “This quotation has not been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson.”

Reuters has previously debunked quotes misattributed to Biden (here), (here), (here) and Jefferson (here), (here).

VERDICT

False. The quote attributed to U.S. President Joe Biden has been taken out of context and the quote attributed to former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson was fabricated.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .         

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