Trump joked about former President Abraham Lincoln during his rally, the same night Mattis praised Lincoln's patriotism in a speech

REUTERS/Mike SegarU.S. President-elect Donald Trump stands with retired Marine Gen. James Mattis following their meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2016.
  • The presidency of Abraham Lincoln was mentioned in two separate instances on Thursday night in drastically different contexts.
  • President Donald Trump mocked the 16th US president during a rally in Dallas, while former Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, revered Lincoln’s patriotism.
  • Trump said that he would never be as presidential as “Honest Abe Lincoln when he’s wearing the hat,” but he went on to say that in order to be presidential, “all you have to do is act like a stiff.” He proceeded to act out a stiff, buttoning his blazer and speaking in a monotonous voice into the microphone.
  • Among the quips and jabs he made at Trump at the Al Smith dinner in New York, Mattis, who resigned as defence secretary for the Trump administration in December, also invoked Abraham Lincoln, quoting the former president’s famous Lyceum address in Springfield, Illinois.
  • Visit Business Insider’s hope page for more stories.

Abraham Lincoln was mentioned during two separate speeches on Thursday night in drastically different contexts.

President Donald Trump joked about the 16th US president during a rally in Dallas. Trump’s former Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, revered Lincoln’s patriotism, quoting somber lines from Lincoln’s Lyceum speech as Mattis addressed attendees of the 74th annual Al Smith dinner in New York.

“Abraham Lincoln could not win Texas under those circumstances,” Trump said during the rally, adding that he eliminated a record number of regulations on natural gas and oil production in the state. “Honest Abe couldn’t do it.”

Trump said that he would never be as presidential as “Honest Abe Lincoln when he’s wearing the hat,” but he went on to say that in order to be presidential, “all you have to do is act like a stiff.” He proceeded to act out a stiff, buttoning his blazer and speaking in a monotonous voice into the microphone.


Read more:
‘I’m the Meryl Streep of generals’: Former Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had an epic response to Trump calling him ‘overrated’

Mattis, who resigned as defence secretary for the Trump administration in December of 2018, was delivering a speech of his own at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York, which is known for its comedic roast tradition.

Mattis, who is loath to enter the partisan sphere, made his strongest statement on the divisive nature of politics. Among the quips and jabs he made at Trump, the retired four-star Marine Corps general invoked Abraham Lincoln in his speech, quoting the former president’s famous Lyceum address in Springfield, Illinois.

“Lincoln went on, it was not the foreign aggressor we must fear; it was corrosion from within. The rot, the viciousness, the lassitude, the ignorance,” Mattis paraphrased from the Lyceum speech. “Anarchy is one potential consequence of all this. Another is the rise of an ambitious leader unfettered by conscience or precedent or decency who would make themselves supreme.

“‘If destruction be our lot,’ Lincoln warned, ‘We must, ourselves, be its author and finisher,'” Mattis said.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.