Wednesday, April 7, 1971 - 11:13pm - 11:14pm
Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger
White House Telephone


President Richard Nixon: Yep.

Operator: [National Security Adviser] Dr. [Henry A.] Kissinger. There you are.

President Nixon: Hello.

Henry Kissinger: Mr. President?

President Nixon: Yep.

Kissinger: I thought you might like to hear a cable we just got from [U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Ellsworth] Bunker about half an hour ago.

President Nixon: Yep.

Kissinger: [reading] “We have just heard the President's moving and courageous speech. It has inspired us all with a renewed sense of dedication and determination. Please say to him that all of us here are resolved to achieve the goals he has so eloquently stated. Please express to the President my admiration and respect for his great personal courage.”

President Nixon: That's nice.

Kissinger: “Warmest personal regards.”

President Nixon: Very nice. Very nice. Well, what the hell.

Kissinger: Well, Mr. President—

President Nixon: We hear nothing, you know, I [nervous laugh] haven't heard from [White House congressional liaison Clark] MacGregor or from [Counselor Donald H.] Rumsfeld or [Counselor Robert H.] Finch, any of our other fellows. I mean, they're all cowering, I suppose, waiting till they see what the polls show.

Kissinger: Oh, I think MacGregor called [White House Chief of Staff H.R. “Bob”] Haldeman and said he was disappointed at the withdrawal—

President Nixon: That's fine. Well, we've got to shake him up a little.

Kissinger: —but that he thought otherwise it was a well-delivered speech.

President Nixon: Well. Yeah. Good. OK.

Kissinger: And it was a great speech, Mr. President.

President Nixon: The hell with all the rest. OK. I talked to [Governor Nelson A.] Rockefeller [R-New York]. He was fine.

Kissinger: Was he OK?

President Nixon: Oh, hell, he's—he talked very nice. [Laughs.]. You know, he's playing both sides. He feels—

Kissinger: No, no, I don't think he is.

President Nixon: His own future is involved here, too. You know, what the hell, if I go down, he may go up. But he isn't. He'll never go up.

Kissinger: No, he never says anything against you as far as I know, Mr. President.

President Nixon: I know.

Kissinger: He may not say as much publicly as he should.

President Nixon: Right. Right. Right.

Kissinger: But he knows you're right.

President Nixon: Yeah. That's right. So does [Gov. Ronald W.] Reagan [R-California]. So does [former President Lyndon B.] Johnson and all the rest.

Kissinger: Well, Reagan called in, you know.

President Nixon: Did he? What'd he say?

Kissinger: He said it was outstanding, moving, the best refutation to all these softies or whatever or left-wing—

President Nixon: Good for him. Good. Good. Good. OK.

Kissinger: Right, Mr. President.

President Nixon: Thank you.

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