Jim DeMint, head of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, recently rewrote U.S. history during an interview with Jerry Newcombe of Truth In Action Ministries.
DeMint claimed during the "Vocal Point" radio show that the federal government did not free the slaves (during the Civil War), but rather the "Constitution" and "the conscience of the American people" were responsible (audio below).
However, history shows that the Union Army under President Lincoln and the federal government actually freed the slaves by defeating Southern Confederate forces in the Civil War.
According to RightWingWatch.org, DeMint also implied that William Wilberforce, a British politician, somehow helped end American slavery, which continued long after his death in 1833.
"Well, the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people," claimed DeMint.
However, DeMint failed to mention that the U.S. Constitution actually protected slavery in Articles IV and V.
"...But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government," claimed DeMint.
"It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people," stated DeMint.
"So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God."
Of course, President Lincoln was part of the federal government, which DeMint despises, but was not a strict abolitionist.
President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation originally allowed border states (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri) to have slaves, notes History.com.