I couldn’t tell you when it started, but I know that George H.W. Bush certainly spoke this way, Bill Clinton did it all the time, and it was an utterly routine element of George W. Bush’s references to American religion.
He "knows" that George H. W. Bush "certainly" spoke this way. Except he is certainly wrong.
Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?
Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.
Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?
Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?
Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists
Did he lie or just assume that he knew the truth because he believes whatever he is told?