Ronald Reagan Centennial: From the Nixon Tapes

Ronald and Nancy Reagan

To coincide with the centennial of Ronald Reagan's birthday, we're posting a few new transcripts with and about Reagan from the Nixon tapes. At the time of these calls, Reagan was the Governor of California and a rising star of the national Republican Party.


Nixon and Reagan discuss international affairs, especially the United Nations and China.

Having just returned from a 16-day, 5-nation visit to Asia, Reagan checked in with the President on his visits and a range of foreign relations issues.

"Give him [Reagan] some more traveling time, we'll get more done in California."

In calling on Reagan to help with some backroom political persuasion, Nixon had sweetened the deal with a trip for Reagan to Europe in what the President described as "a nice little junket." Attorney General John Mitchell thought that sending Reagan to Europe was a good idea. 

"Reagan is a drag"

Facing what he saw as a need to rebuild the Republican Party, Nixon was unimpressed with the Republican political talent at state level.

I said, "I don't give a damn." I said, "The test goes forward."

Nixon tells Reagan that he was prepared to defy the Supreme Court in ordering a nuclear test at Amchitka.

I want Henry [Kissinger] to let you in on some of the things that are going on that we can't say publicly.

Nixon and Reagan try to set up a meeting iin California.