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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1387
AUTHOR: Adlai Ewing Stevenson (1900–65)
QUOTATION: I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends…. That if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
ATTRIBUTION: ADLAI E. STEVENSON, governor of Illinois, campaign remark, Fresno, California, September 10, 1952.—John Bartlow Martin, Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, pp. 673–74 (1976).

Martin called this remark a favorite of Stevenson’s, but it is not original with him. It was attributed to Senator Chauncey Depew, but in reverse, in John F. Parker’s “If Elected, I Promise…,” Stories and Gems of Wisdom by and About Politicians, p. 41 (1969): “If you will refrain from telling any lies about the Republican party, I’ll promise not to tell the truth about the Democrats.” Depew was a senator 1899–1911.
SUBJECTS: Political parties