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By Neelesh Moorthy August 1, 2016

Actor James Woods peddles bogus quote from Hillary Clinton's 'It Takes a Village'

Actor James Woods took aim at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Twitter, using her own words against her to suggest she would create a "nanny state."

Woods tweeted an image attributing to Clinton a quote from her 1996 book, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, asking viewers to "Read this. Twice."

"I believe the primary role of the state  is to teach, train and raise children. Parents have a secondary role," the quote reads.

There’s just one problem. The quote is a complete fabrication, and we’ve shown this before.

In March, we fact-checked the exact same image Woods tweeted. At the time, we looked at her book on Google Books and searched for the quote both on Google and on Lexis-Nexis.

We did not find the quote then, and we didn’t this time after re-doing the search. The Clinton campaign declined to comment. We found quotes from the book making the opposite point.

"Parents bear the first and primary responsibility for their sons and daughters — to feed them, to sing them to sleep, to teach them to ride a bike, to encourage their talents, to help them develop spiritual lives, to make countless daily decisions that determine whom they have the potential to become," the book says on page four.

The word "secondary" does not even show up in the book, our search showed.

It Takes A Village has been criticized for suggesting society was responsible for parenting children, and Clinton does argue that society at large — government included — has a role in a child’s development.

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"But I was also blessed with caring neighbors, attentive doctors, challenging public schools, safe streets, and an economy that supported my father’s job," she wrote. "Much of my family’s good fortune was beyond my parents’ direct control, but not beyond the control of other adults whose actions affected my life."

She does not say, however, that "parents have a secondary role," as Woods alleged.

Paul Kengor, a professor of political science at Grove City College and a Ronald Reagan biographer, said there is a typical divide in how conservatives and liberals (such as Clinton) view child care. He said it was conceivable Clinton would support a primary role for the state due to her liberal persuasion.

William Chafe, a history professor at Duke University, disagreed. He said the book's message was to uphold a community commitment to the well-being of women and children, not to shift responsibility, calling the latter a "willful misreading."

What societal role is too much is for readers to decide, but the quote is fabricated.

Our ruling

Woods claimed that Clinton wrote that "the primary role of the state is to teach, train and raise children. Parents have a secondary role."

That’s a bogus quote attributed to Clinton’s book It Takes a Village.

We rate Wood’s claim Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

PolitiFact, "7 Hillary Clinton quotes on the Internet that are complete fakes," March 23, 2016

Personal Tweet, James Woods’ Twitter account, July 31, 2016

Google Books, "It Takes A Village," December 1996

Google Books, "It Takes A Village," December 2006

Email response from Josh Schwerin, Hillary Clinton spokesperson, August 1, 2016

Email response from Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College, August 1, 2016

Email response from William Chafe, Alice Mary Balwdwin professor of history at Duke University, August 1, 2016

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More by Neelesh Moorthy

Actor James Woods peddles bogus quote from Hillary Clinton's 'It Takes a Village'

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