Saturday, April 17, 1971 - 4:22pm - 4:24pm
Richard Nixon, H.R. (Bob) Haldeman
White House Telephone


President Richard Nixon: Yeah.

Bob Haldeman: Yes, sir.

President Nixon: I've been thinking a little more of your suggestion on [Pete] McCloskey.1 I'm not so sure that I think someone like Gerry [Gerald Ford] in the House doing it is the best idea, where they have to see him all the time and all that sort of thing.2 Why not [William] Rogers?3 I mean, after all, he can talk on this subject. He's just been over there.

Haldeman: Mmm-hmm.

President Nixon: And it's not political, you understand. It's not partisan. Rogers has got to step up to a couple of these things now, you know.

Haldeman: OK.

President Nixon: Isn't that what really is involved?

Haldeman: Yep, probably so. He – well, maybe he could hit him hard. That's – that gets to your new point.

President Nixon: I know.

Haldeman: [Unclear] cabinet officers attacking -

President Nixon: What?

Haldeman: —if he, if he would do it. Maybe he would.

President Nixon: Yeah, Rogers and well, how about Laird?4

Haldeman: Laird might even be better. He's a former House member, and it's really defense is what—what he's – who he's hitting.

President Nixon: Well, we'll try to see – tell me about it, let's see if we can get maybe Laird to—I'll have Laird in and—well, I want him to check first, see, but I think maybe Laird ought to just crack him off, you know, hit him right between the eyes.

Haldeman: Yeah, yeah.

President Nixon: OK. Although . . . get Rogers down on that other thing.

Haldeman: Well, it might be worth getting Rogers on this because it's –

President Nixon: Right.

Haldeman:—because it's Roger's ambassador that he's taking on [unclear]

President Nixon: That's right. It's Rogers' ambassador he's taking on, Roger should defend this ambassador and attack McCloskey.

Haldeman: Right.

President Nixon: That's what I think.

Haldeman: OK.

President Nixon: OK.


1 Paul N. “Pete” McCloskey, Jr., was a Republican representative from California. (↑)

2 Gerald R. Ford, the House minority leader, was a Republican from Michigan. (↑)

3 William P. Rogers was secretary of state. (↑)

4 Melvin R. Laird was secretary of defense. (↑)

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