Former President Donald Trump made a claim on Wednesday that was wild by even his lofty standards. He said he would’ve not only defeated an undead George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in an election but also would’ve wiped them out in a historic landslide.
Speaking at the Hispanic Leadership Conference in Miami, Trump said:
“I remember a very famous pollster, very well known, John McLaughlin, came to my office just prior to the plague coming and he said, ‘Sir, if George Washington and Abraham Lincoln came alive from the dead and they formed a president-vice president team, you would beat them by 40 percent.’ That’s how good our numbers were.”
Notably, Trump did not mention the condition of the zombie presidents in this wild scenario, which would mean a 70-30 landslide victory by Trump:
Good to see Donald Trump is as humble as ever:
“A very famous pollster … said, ‘Sir, if George Washington and Abraham Lincoln came alive from the dead and they formed a president-vice president team, you would beat them by 40%.’” pic.twitter.com/pd3251y7NH
— The Recount (@therecount) October 5, 2022
In the most recent C-SPAN survey of historians about who was the best commander in chief, Lincoln was ranked first and Washington second while Trump finished fourth from last (behind Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan).
However, Trump might have a case in one sense: Among Republicans, such a race might be close.
In 2019, a Monmouth University poll asked Americans to choose between Washington and Trump. Just 15% chose Trump. But among Republicans, Trump’s numbers surged. Although Washington still would’ve won the hypothetical race, it would’ve been by a close margin, with 44% choosing the Founding Father versus 37% for Trump.
Trump did even better against Lincoln: In a 2019 Economist/YouGov poll of Republican voters, 53% said Trump was better than the 16th president.
Trump has had an on-and-off fixation with favorably comparing himself to the nation’s greatest presidents. In 2020, Trump claimed he had “done more for Black Americans than anybody with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln,” something he had said several times.
Last year, he told a story of being able to defeat a Washington-Lincoln tag team but didn’t include the supposed quote from a pollster.
“I think it would be hard if George Washington came back from the dead and he chose Abraham Lincoln as his vice-president, I think it would have been very hard for them to beat me,” Trump told Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig for their book “I Alone Can Fix It.”
Twitter users mocked Trump over this latest version of the claim:
Is he saying Biden is more popular than Lincoln and Washington https://t.co/aoWdmEcz9F
— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) October 5, 2022
A big strong pollster with tears in his eyes, he said “Mr. President, sir ….”
— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) October 5, 2022
The stuff he says ranges from the dangerous and deadly to the pathetic and laughable https://t.co/XepgRDXrEd
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) October 5, 2022
hate to say it but he's right. while americans admire washington and lincoln, they would have questions about the leadership capabilities of undead ghouls reanimated by dark magic or forbidden science https://t.co/yIkkjED3AL
— Josh Fruhlinger (@jfruh) October 5, 2022
poor Trump he wants to be one of the "great" presidents so badly. and yet he is ranked as "calamitous" and as a twice impeached president who launched a coup, he shall always be seen as calamitous. https://t.co/M4PyuHhV8F
— Jennifer Mercieca (@jenmercieca) October 5, 2022
Hey Siri, what does an extreme Narcissistic personality disorder look like?
Siri: 👇 https://t.co/7gzXU8ytgR
— Republicans against Trumpism (@RpsAgainstTrump) October 6, 2022
Zombie Presidents George and Abe would drive a stake through this mofo's heart. https://t.co/PfYfmlpWqm
— Ed Bott (@edbott) October 5, 2022
He couldn't get a majority in 2016 or 2020, and his polling numbers from 2016-2020 were shit. So this is what you call delusion, https://t.co/kLtWDzbhGC
— HawaiiDelilah™ is a Citizen Patriot (@HawaiiDelilah) October 5, 2022
*pulls up Wikipedia to look up many presidential elections George Washington and Abraham Lincoln lost* https://t.co/AnyvJKh8hL
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 5, 2022
Well, to be fair, zombies are notoriously hard to poll. https://t.co/5plf1qXgug
— Mark Pitcavage (@egavactip) October 5, 2022
Yeah! This is fucking normal..... https://t.co/q9KVyUVgJ9
— Windmill Cancer Support Group (@MichelD2005) October 5, 2022
This is how a child brags. https://t.co/xjauDvyRFB
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) October 5, 2022
Whereupon trump said, "YOU'RE HIRED!"https://t.co/8w97MDDtib
— 1 Froggy Evening #INeedAmmoNotARide (@1FroggyEvening) October 5, 2022
Lost to Biden but thinks he could beat Washington and Lincoln -- a truly delusional man. https://t.co/CPsta6ohXh
— Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) October 5, 2022
Seems John Barron is a pollster now. https://t.co/T6EapyHL3I
— Khashoggi’s Ghost 🇺🇦🌻 (@UROCKlive1) October 5, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.