‘You Have Enemies? Good’ — Did Winston Churchill Say This Quote?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook credits British politician Winston Churchill with saying, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Churchill ever said or wrote this statement.

Fact Check:

“There is no evidence in the nearly 20 million-word record of Winston Churchill’s writings to confirm this quote,” Tim Riley, chief curator at the National Churchill Museum, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.

Indeed, the quote does not appear in the Churchill Archive, which contains around 800,000 original documents related to the statesman, or a complete collection of his written works.

Another expert, International Churchill Society Director of Publications David Freeman, confirmed in an email to TheDCNF that the saying isn’t original to Churchill: “That is indeed another chestnut of non-Churchillian vintage.”

Some blogs credit French writer Victor Hugo with penning the quote. A similar expression appears in a passage of his written work “Things Seen,” according to one website. “You have enemies?” the quote reads. “Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea.”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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