That last part is actually true.
The legend of that aphorism starts when Roosevelt, a young New York assemblyman, became the head of a committee taking action on a railway bill. Despite determined opposition, Roosevelt learned how to force a vote.
In his Autobiography, he tells the story like this:
“I then put the bill in my pocket and announced I would report it anyhow. This almost precipitated a riot…The riot did not come off; partly, I think, because the opportune production of the chair leg had a sedative effect, and partly owing to wise counsels from one or two of my opponents.”
That’s right: Teddy Roosevelt actually did brandish a chair leg to threaten his opposition into submission.
Roosevelt fans, please revisit the President’s Autobiography. The incidents of his pugilistic past are just a few of the gems to be found.