”I was never one who looked at success as bad. For me, success was always good. I loved it, and still do.” - Donald Trump, WINNING, pg. 27— David Roth (@david_j_roth) June 10, 2014
There is a simple logical answer to this. There are two possibilities:1. When Donald Trump retweeted the quote, he was referring to it or talking about it rather than stating the thought attributed to him. Typically, when doing this you would use quotation marks to show the difference. As in, “Look what someone attributed to me, ha ha” …2. When Donald Trump retweeted the quote, he intended to endorse it, even though the words did not come from him originally. In that case, he is stating the thought attributed to him. He is stating that he really thinks that, etc.Note that in neither case is Trump claiming authorship of the original quote. In the first case he is quoting it, in the second case, he is stating it. In Logic, the distinction in question is recognized as between “mention” and “use.” (You can Google the “use-mention distinction”.) [Editor’s note: We did! It’s basically the difference between using a word to refer to a thing itself, and using a word to refer to the word. For instance: “This is all pretty rando” (use!) and “‘Rando’ is a word kids use these days” (mention!)] …[In this case it appears] Trump was duped into thinking that he was the original author of the quote. He evidently agrees with it so this would be case 2.
I think that retweeting would be akin to quoting someone’s words, rather than using them oneself. In this case, one might hear it as Trump saying something like: He said that I said: “[insert quote].” So, even in these rather special circumstances, one wouldn’t ordinarily think of what Trump had done as saying, so committing to, what he retweeted. That said, the issues are delicate: there was a case recently in the UK wherein a libellous tweet was retweeted and I believe that put the retweeters in line for legal claim. Similarly, if one quoted, or retweeted, something very offensive, that would often be thought to be bad, even if not as bad as saying it in propria persona. Thus, some people wouldn’t even quote something racist, anti-Semitic,, &c., except perhaps in special circumstances wherein it was made very clear and explicit what was going on.