Sunday, April 11, 1971 - 9:19pm - 9:21pm
Richard Nixon, Charles Colson
White House Telephone



President Nixon: Hello?

Operator: Mr. [Charles] Colson, sir.1 Here you are.

President Nixon: Hello, Chuck?

Chuck Colson: Yes, sir, Mr. President.

President Nixon: Oh, I forgot to ask you what you hear from your friend [Louis] Harris.2

Colson: He started his poll this week, or he was supposed to. I tried to reach him Friday in Detroit.

President Nixon: I thought he was going to poll right after the broadcast.

Colson: He told me he was going to start Thursday, and—

President Nixon: And then he—

Colson: I assume he did, although I wasn't able to reach him on Friday.

President Nixon: He probably stretches it out over three or four days, I suppose.

Colson: Normally, it takes about four days. Normally, he would be finished tonight.

President Nixon: Oh, I see. Well, then he won't have anything this week then, probably until next—

Colson: No, he would—his raw data, Mr. President, he would have in on Thursday of this coming week.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Colson: And I—as I say, I tried to call him Friday to see if he'd started—

President Nixon: Right.

Colson: —but I wasn't able to reach him. He was doing a TV show out in Detroit.

President Nixon: Mm-hmm.

Colson: But I will get him in the morning.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Colson: I'm sure he started. He's being extremely cooperative.

President Nixon: Well you can—be sure he knows what we polled, you know? Well the ORC [Opinion Research Corporation] thing I think some of it was put out today, wasn't it?

Colson: It ran on the wires today, yes, sir.

President Nixon: Yeah, that was the one we took just before the broadcast.

Colson: Right.

President Nixon: Right.

Colson: But I'll see that he has that, and I'm sure Lou started. Lou has risen to the bait, and—

President Nixon: Well, don't assume it until you see what happens to him. [Laughs.]

Colson: No. But what he told me is he'd put his men in the field starting Thursday.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Colson: Which, normally, he'd be through tonight or tomorrow.

President Nixon: Yeah, good. Good.

Colson: And we'll have some raw data from him on Thursday.

President Nixon: Good, right, right, right.

Colson: But I'll let—

President Nixon: Just so he knows that we are doing the same thing so he—

Colson: Oh, yes.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Colson: Helps keep him honest a little bit.

President Nixon: Yeah, yeah.

Colson: And he's—as I say, he's been helpful. He's given me a lot of his raw data that he never gave out before.

President Nixon: Good, good. Well, and we're ready to cooperate with him, too.

Colson: Sure. Oh, he knows that.

President Nixon: Right, right.

Colson: Well, I'll check with him in the morning.

President Nixon: Swell. OK.

Colson: Let you know what—

President Nixon: Sure.

Colson: —if he's polling and—

President Nixon: Yeah.

Colson: —when we'll get his results.

President Nixon: Fine, fine. OK.

Colson: Fine. Thank you, sir.


1 Charles W. Colson, White House political operative. (↑)

2 Louis Harris was a pollster. (↑)

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