When the Quotes Change, I Check My Attributions

Written by Noah Kristula-Green on Thursday September 29, 2011

Mitt Romney is a big fan of Winston Churchill. At a recent GOP debates he promised that if he was elected, a priority of his would be to restore a bust of Churchill back into the Oval Office. Yet it seems that Churchill-philia has gotten the better of Romney. During a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire, Romney defended accusations that he was a flip-flopper by 'quoting' Churchill:

In the private sector, if you don't change your view when the facts change, well you'll get fired for being stubborn and stupid. Winston Churchill said, 'When the facts change I change too, Madam.' What do you do?

The problem for Romney is that this quote is often attributed to fiscal stimulus advocate John Maynard Keynes.

Keynes reportedly gave the quote as a response to criticism that he had changed his views on monetary policy during the Great Depression. He reportedly said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

While this does appear to be the smoking gun that can end the Romney campaign by revealing him to be a closet Socialist (just like Obama!) there is still a ray of hope for Romney. According to a Keynes biographer, it turns out that there is "no evidence" that the quote can be attributed to Keynes and that it is in fact, apocryphal.

As presidential candidate Mitt Romney says, when the facts change...