Well Heeled

Image contrasts photographs of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

Claim:   Image contrasts photographs of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, February 2012]

Is the photo of Mitt Romney getting a shoeshine real or photo-shopped? This is currently being shared on Facebook.


Origins:   This composite image attempts to contrast Mitt Romney with President Barack Obama, portraying the former as a wealthy elitist getting a shoeshine from a liveried attendant on an airport tarmac and the latter as a "man of the people" giving a fist bump to a janitorial worker.

The photograph comprising the right-hand half of the image is what it appears to be. It was taken by White House photographer Pete Souza
during the White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth on 3 December 2009 and shows President Obama fist-bumping Lawrence Lipscomb, a custodian who works in federal offices as part of the AbilityOne program (a Federal initiative to help people who are blind or have other significant disabilities find employment).

The photograph comprising the left-hand half of the image is commonly misconstrued, however. It doesn't show Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney getting a shoeshine from a liveried attendant; rather, it's a 2008 news photo of Romney getting a going-over with a security wand during a pre-flight screening before boarding a charter flight from San Diego to Denver on 1 February 2008.

Last updated:   23 April 2012

David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.