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Rounds Channels Humphrey?

Interesting historical note from David Kranz's column in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader this weekend:

When Gov. Mike Rounds was defending the state's legislative action making most abortions illegal, he offered a statement of support.

"In the history of the world, the true test of civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society."

Rounds' original words?

Well, sort of.

Vice President Humphrey has been dead since Jan. 13, 1978, but his life is carefully documented, including his quotes.

Steve Sandell, director of the Humphrey Forum of the University of Minnesota, saw Rounds' reference and wrote a letter to the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

"Those are the words taken from speeches that Humphrey made on several occasions," including the 1976 Democratic National Convention, Sandell wrote.

Humphrey's full quote: "The moral test of a government is how it treats those who are at the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadow of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped."

Sandell concludes his letter saying, "Regardless of one's opinion on the issue of abortion, we might expect the governor of Humphrey's home state to attribute his words to their author, and to use them in the context of their original meaning."

So the question is this: Did the governor alter the wording enough to rightfully make it his own, or was attribution appropriate?

Rounds did not return phone calls.