FACT CHECK: ‘They Will Restrict Your Freedoms’ – Did Ronald Reagan Say This Quote About Democrats?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 19,000 times claims President Ronald Reagan said Democrats “will restrict your freedoms, restrict your history and restrict your safety.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of Reagan making the statement.

Fact Check

U.S. presidents are often targets of misattributed quotes online. This particular post, shared over 19,000 times, attempts to credit Reagan, who served in the Oval Office from 1981 to 1989, with a quote about Democrats restricting “freedoms,” “history” and “safety.”

“Keep voting Democrat,” Reagan allegedly said in 1987. “One day they will restrict your freedoms, restrict your history and restrict your safety. All in the name of professional victims that don’t understand the consequences of their ignorance.”

There is, however, no record of Reagan saying the quote in 1987 or any other year. Searching the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library’s digital archive and the National Archives turned up no matches. It also does not appear in his presidential diaries, correspondence or autobiography.

“We have all his official speeches and I could not find this quote for that year or any other between 1981-89,” Reagan Library archivist Michael Pinckney said to Snopes.

Melissa Giller, chief marketing officer at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, also told USA Today that the quote “is not a true quote.” (RELATED: Is The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library In Danger Of Closing Permanently Due To Coronavirus?)

“I have access to a database where I can search all of President Reagan’s quotes,” she said. “I searched the quote multiple ways using phrases from the post, and there is absolutely zero records of him saying this. This is not a true quote.”

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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