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.
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.
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.
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.
President Nixon: That's what I think.
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. (↑)