Fact Check: The Bust of Winston Churchill


President Barack Obama shows Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom a bust of Sir Winston Churchill in the private residence of the White House, July 20, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Lately, there’s been a rumor swirling around about the current location of the bust of Winston Churchill. Some have claimed that President Obama removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the British Embassy.

Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column.  He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.”

This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.

News outlets have debunked this claim time and again. First, back in 2010 the National Journal reported that “the Churchill bust was relocated to a prominent spot in the residence to make room for Abraham Lincoln, a figure from whom the first African-American occupant of the Oval Office might well draw inspiration in difficult times.” And just in case anyone forgot, just last year the AP reported that President Obama “replaced the Oval Office fixture with a bust of one of his American heroes, President Abraham Lincoln, and moved the Churchill bust to the White House residence.”

In case these news reports are not enough for Mr. Krauthammer and others, here’s a picture of the President showing off the Churchill bust to Prime Minister Cameron when he visited the White House residence in 2010.

Hopefully this clears things up a bit and prevents folks from making this ridiculous claim again.

A Disastrous Start to the Romney Foreign Policy Tour

Mitt Romney touches down in London to proclaim his “Anglo-Saxon” heritage, then raise funds from shady and discredited donors, insult his hosts and the European community, then violate British law and diplomatic protocol, gets called out for his comments by the British Prime Minister and Mayor of London, inspiring the British public to ask Mitt Romney to just go home.

Romney’s Plan Would Slow the Recovery and Cost Us Jobs

Today we learned that the economy grew for the 12th straight quarter, exports and business investment continue to grow, and the auto industry is growing stronger. But President Obama knows that we need more decisive action to create jobs and help the economy grow faster.

Last September, President Obama put forward a detailed legislative plan—the American Jobs Act—to do just that. The jobs plan would keep teachers, firefighters, and police officers on the job, put construction workers back to work, and cut taxes for small businesses that hire and invest and businesses that bring jobs home. But Republicans in Congress have blocked this plan. As a result there are now 1 million Americans who are unnecessarily out of work.

Governor Romney also opposes this jobs plan, saying it was like “throwing a cup of gasoline on embers.” But independent economists disagree—and they say that Mitt Romney’s plan would slow our recovery and cost us jobs. Romney himself acknowledges that spending cuts will damage the recovery. As economist Jeff Liebman has written, based on Romney’s own statements, his plan would cost over 1 million jobs next year.

Romney’s plan for the economy—including tax cuts weighted towards the wealthy and rolling back Wall Street reform—would do nothing to create jobs today, and instead would return us to the failed policies that dug this ditch in the first place.

U.S. Public Lands Continue to Create Jobs and Boost Local Economies Through Tourism, Restoration Efforts, and Energy Initiatives

America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other outdoor spaces are treasured for their beauty, their enjoyment, and for their value to our culture and history — sometimes, it can be easy to overlook that they also serve as economic drivers for American communities.  In sectors ranging from tourism to outdoor recreation and energy development, our nation’s public lands and waters are creating jobs and supporting local economies across the country.

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an annual visitor survey, which highlights how our nation’s forests are contributing billions of dollars to the economy and creating jobs in tourism, restoration, and renewable energy.  The report showed that USDA Forest Service lands attracted 166 million visitors in 2011, and, as a result, visitor spending in nearby communities sustained more than 200,000 full- and part-time jobs.  The survey also reveals that these jobs produced labor income of more than $7.6 billion, while forest and grassland visitor spending contributed more than $13 billion to the gross domestic product.

In addition, a recently-released report from the Department of the Interior shows that in Fiscal Year 2011, the activities of the Department contributed $385 billion to the economy and supported over 2 million homegrown, American jobs.  The findings show the real, lasting impacts of these activities—which range from facilitating energy and mineral development to encouraging tourism and recreation at national parks, monuments, and refuges—on our economy.

These are not the first reports to show the positive impact public lands have on the U.S. economy.  An earlier study by Interior’s Office of Policy Analysis found that recreation in national parks, refuges, and other public lands alone led to nearly $47 billion in economic contribution and 388,000 jobs in 2010.  Another report released by the Outdoor Industry Association revealed that 140 million Americans spent a combined $646 billion on hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, and other outdoor recreation on public and private lands supporting more than 6 million American jobs.

President Obama is working to bolster these impacts through a number of initiatives, including:

  • All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy: The President’s domestic energy strategy seeks to develop every available source of American energy, both through responsible development of traditional oil and gas reserves, as well as through advances in the development of renewable technologies like wind and solar.  The vast resources on our nation’s public lands play an important role in this strategy to improve our national security, grow our economy, and create jobs.
  • America’s Great Outdoors: This initiative seeks to establish a 21st century strategy for conservation and recreation and to reconnect Americans—especially young Americans—to the great outdoors by providing more outdoor recreation opportunities.
  • Travel and Tourism Strategy:  A National Travel and Tourism Strategy charts a new course toward making America a more attractive and accessible destination than ever before.  The National Strategy sets a goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors by 2021, which is expected to generate $250 billion annually in visitor spending by 2021.

While we are making progress in these areas, we know there is still more work to do, but by reconnecting Americans to the great outdoors, promoting tourism to our greatest places, and responsibly and innovatively developing domestic energy, DOI and USDA are working together to help put people back to work.

Small Business Owners Reject Mitt Romney’s Distortions

Mitt Romney is deliberately twisting President Obama’s words to suggest he doesn’t value our country’s small businesses or entrepreneurial spirit.

That’s flat-out wrong. President Obama has always believed in the drive and ingenuity of America’s entrepreneurs and workers, and he’s got the record to back it up. From 18 tax cuts for small businesses to more than 150,000 loans to help them expand and hire, President Obama is helping our small businesses succeed.

Just ask actual small-business owners which candidate has their best interests at heart.

Kevin Levine, founder and CEO of NitroSecurity

“Romney failed to create an economic environment that attracted entrepreneurs or encouraged business owners to grow and hire. In fact, the opposite happened. If you lived in Massachusetts while Romney was governor, it became harder to start up a business. Under his leadership, small business start-ups declined, hitting their lowest point in his last year in office. Under Romney, business starts fell by 10 percent, hitting their lowest point in his last year in office. Each year Romney was in office, start-up growth in Massachusetts lagged behind the national average. When he took office, more entrepreneurs were starting small businesses than shutting them down. But by his last year in office, Romney’s failed policies had reversed that trend.”

Scott Baetz, founder of Admin Internet

“My clients are small-businesses owners themselves, so the President’s initiatives to put more capital into these small businesses helps me grow my business because I truly rely on their success to build my clients. Because my business is thriving, I’ve hired more workers in the last three months alone, and the Affordable Care Act helps me now attract workers because I can afford the health coverage my employees need. And when my employees are healthy, my business operates better. On top of it, he’s cut my taxes many times over. All of which have given me the confidence and capital to improve my business and hire more workers, and on a national level, they have helped create good middle class jobs. All of these steps forward are vital to building a thriving middle class in this country. That’s the difference between President Obama and Mitt Romney—small businesses are supported under President Obama, and folks didn’t see the same thing from then-Governor Romney.”

Cristina Saralegui: La Econom‪í‬a – Anuncio de Televisión de Obama for America

Inscríbete: http://OFA.BO/afXvMW

Hoy, Obama for America lanzó dos series de un grupo de anuncios de televisión destacando el récord del presidente en temas de especial importancia para los latinos, enfocándose el récord del presidente con respecto a la economía, la educación y políticas que han fortalecido las familias y comunidades latinas. Los anuncios cuentan con la participación de Cristina Saralegui, una periodista experimentada que ya declaró su apoyo por el presidente y es reconocida como uno de los modelos a seguir más influyentes en la comunidad latina.

En los anuncios, que saldrán al aire en Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Ohio y Virginia, Saralegui destaca el récord del presidente con respecto a la educación y la economía—un récord que incluye las acciones del Presidente para reiniciar el crecimiento de empleo después de heredar una economía que perdía 750,000 empleos al mes cuando asumió la presidencia. El presidente tomó acción para evitar que 2 millones de latinos cayeran en la pobreza durante la peor recesión de nuestra generación, para ayudar a 150,000 estudiantes hispanos adicionales a poder pagar sus estudios universitarios, para asegurar que las tasas de intereses de los préstamos estudiantiles se mantuvieran lo más bajas posible y para prevenir el colapso de la industria automotriz estadounidense.


Obama for America has released a group of television commercials highlighting the president’s record on issues of particular importance to Hispanics, focusing the president’s record on the economy, education and policies that have strengthened families and Hispanic communities. The ads feature the participation of Cristina Saralegui, an experienced journalist who has declared her support for the president and is recognized as one of the most influential role models in the Latino community.

In the ads, Saralegui highlights the president’s record with respect to education and the economy, a record that includes the President’s actions to restart the growth of employment after inherit an economy losing 750,000 jobs a month when he took office. The president took action to prevent 2 million Hispanic Americans from falling into poverty during the worst recession of our generation, and to help to 150,000 additional Hispanic students to pay for college to ensure that interest rates on student loans is maintained as low as possible and to prevent the collapse of the U.S. auto industry.

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