Wednesday, April 7, 1971 - 10:38pm - 10:45pm
Richard Nixon, Charles "Bebe" Rebozo
White House Telephone


President Nixon: Yeah.

Operator: Mr. [Charles G. “Bebe”] Rebozo, sir. There you are.

President Nixon: Hello, Bebe?

Charles Rebozo: Mr. President, how are you feeling?

President Nixon: How are the common folks? Did you see the—

Rebozo: Ah! Well, you should feel real, real good.

President Nixon: How do the folks feel? I mean, the people there?

Rebozo: I tell you, they're just great. They're just great.

President Nixon: Middle America. Yeah?

Rebozo: I think that, you know, I really think that that little summation was great and as described later, it was, it was not in the written speech, which I'm glad for, but that, story about that Sergeant Taylor—1

President Nixon: Mmm-hmm.

Rebozo: —that's a wonderful, wonderful—

President Nixon: The little boy, Kevin, who saluted—

Rebozo: —beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful.

President Nixon: It was kind of nice, wasn't it?

Rebozo: Beautiful. And they used it—

President Nixon: You know when he, that little kid did that when I was at that ceremony I broke up. I just couldn't go on with the next ceremony, really.

Rebozo: Beautiful.

President Nixon: Yeah. But it came across, did it?

Rebozo: Yes, sir. No question about it. I think that it was all great, but I think that that highlighted that little human touch—

President Nixon: Now, tell [valet] Manolo [Sanchez], now, he's here, you tell him what you think and, and see if he can throw any Spanish words [unclear].

Rebozo: And use those charts, too. That chart was great.

President Nixon: OK. Here's Manolo. Tell him the truth now.

Rebozo: OK.

President Nixon: Yeah, I won't be listening.

Rebozo: All right.

NARA Excision
Category: Personal Returnable
Duration: 2m

President Nixon: But you felt good about it, did you?

Rebozo: Oh, Mr. President, I just think that the whole presentation was good. There's no way they could find anything wrong. I thought that your very casual reference to instant analysis was very well put.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Rebozo: And I think that the charting is always good, you know.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Rebozo: It's just, I think it really makes a difference. The fact that the chart shows that you've done more than you said you were going to do and all. The only—the next step that I would suggest, instead of the deadline on ending the war would be a deadline on the Paris negotiations.

President Nixon: Oh, I'm going to do that in about two months.

Rebozo: Yeah, that, that was—

President Nixon: We're going knock all those goddamn things.

Rebozo: Yeah.

President Nixon: If they don't talk, screw them.

Rebozo: That's right. That's exactly right. Why waste everybody's time?

President Nixon: That's right. That's right.

Rebozo: But I really . . . you did it in a very concise manner. You put your finger on the whole thing and no way, there's no way they can pick this apart.

President Nixon: I don't see how people could not have been moved, too, about the reference to Kevin Taylor, you know, that little boy. When he, you know, saluted, good God, that broke me up.

Rebozo: That was just beautiful. That really was just beautiful. And that, I think, is something that was a beautiful way to wind it up. God.

President Nixon: OK, [unclear].

Rebozo: Very good.

President Nixon: Go to—

Rebozo: Thank you—

President Nixon: What're you going to do now?

Rebozo: Well, I'm just taking it easy.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Rebozo: Taking things easy. And I was talking to John earlier tonight.

President Nixon: Yeah, all right.

Rebozo: Mitchell, they're having a good time.

President Nixon: Yeah, fine. That's fine. Don't do anything that I wouldn't do, and that means everything. [Rebozo laughs] OK, [unclear].

Rebozo: All right, sir. Good night.


1 At the conclusion of his 7 April 1971 television address on Vietnam, Nixon dramatically set aside his written copy of the speech and delivered a rehearsed “ad lib” conclusion. He told how Marine Sgt. Karl G. Taylor died rushing a machine gun nest to save his fellow soldiers in Vietnam. His little boy, Kevin, attended the White House ceremony where Sgt. Taylor was honored posthumously with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Kevin saluted President Nixon. (↑)

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.