Thursday, April 29, 1971 - 10:36pm - 10:39pm
Richard Nixon, Patrick Buchanan
White House Telephone


President Nixon: Yeah?

Patrick J. Buchanan: Hello?

Operator: [Speechwriter] [Patrick J.] Mr. Buchanan, sir.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Buchanan: How are you, sir?

President Nixon: Hello, Pat, how are you?

Buchanan: Fine, sir. [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Well, you picked most of the answers.1

Buchanan: Well, you did a fine job with [unclear]—

President Nixon: Well, that woman asked [chuckles] asked that silly question about Johnny Rose. 2

Buchanan: [Unclear] came off very well, though.

President Nixon: Oh, well, it was a good thing to do, you know, to show that the poor guy, they were giving him a bad rap and all that.

Buchanan: Right. I thought the whole thing [unclear].

President Nixon: Yeah.

Buchanan: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Well, the main thing was to get across the feeling of confidence and this and that, tell the demonstrators that we weren't going to be affected.3 We sure got that across, didn't we?

Buchanan: That's right. [Unclear.] It was very well done.

President Nixon: And also, put I down the State Department and their silly, goddamn comment about . . . you know, God, they're going all off the rocker.4

Buchanan: Yeah, I thought the [unclear] was very effective.

President Nixon: What, what?

Buchanan: [Unclear]—

President Nixon: Yeah.

Buchanan: —[unclear]—

President Nixon: Yep.

Buchanan: —[unclear]—

President Nixon: Right.

Buchanan: I thought the whole thing [unclear]. I thought the whole thing was great. You went over by [unclear] seven minutes or so?

President Nixon: Huh? Yeah.

Buchanan: I think you went over seven minutes I think that's good, you know.

President Nixon: Yeah. We didn't stop it right on time. We let it go about, actually, five minutes over, actually. But I think that the real lead, though, is something . . . there were two leads [unclear] things that'll stick, one that . . . as I look at the teenagers, my concern was not peace just in our time, but peace in their time. See, that gets across. People understand that. The other thing we is with regard to China, we've broken the ice and now we've got to test the water to see how deep it is.

Buchanan: Right. [Unclear]—

President Nixon: People understand that. Huh?

Buchanan: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: But hell, these little bastards that are demonstrating, now look, we're not worrying about peace in our time. We can get that very easy. But what about you little shitasses, what do you think's going to happen to you? Huh?

Buchanan: Yeah, that's right. [Unclear,] I thought you were very good [unclear].

President Nixon: [Unclear] Washington's not under seige.

Buchanan: Right, right.

President Nixon: I look at the camera, you know, I said[unclear] the television [unclear]. That was out of your briefing.

Buchanan: Yeah. [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Well, we'll see.

Buchanan: OK. Fine. [Unclear.]

President Nixon: But—

Buchanan: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: —but very good preparation. Tell Allen and all the rest that worked on it, it was avery good job, will you?

Buchanan: OK. Fine.

NARA Excision
Category: Personal Returnable
Duration: 17s

President Nixon: How'd you like my answer when I [unclear] I was the only lawyer in the White House that nobody could afford.

Buchanan: That's right. [Unclear.] It was very good. [Unclear.]

President Nixon: OK.

Buchanan: OK. All right, bye.


1 Nixon had held a news conference for which Buchanan prepared suggested answers for likely questions. (↑)

2 A reporter asked why “Army Lieutenant Jonathan Rose, who is the son of a former high Eisenhower Administration official, and a Republican Party campaign contributor, is serving on duty here in the White House at your request and has served for two years, rather than being assigned to active duty.” Nixon replied that Rose had a shoulder injury that disqualified him for combat duty. (↑)

3 Washington had been the site of antiwar demonstrations that week. (↑)

4 A State Department spokesman had suggested that Taiwan's status could be resolved by direct negotiations between the island the mainland. The New York Times, 29 April 1971, “U.S. Urges Peaceful Solution for Taiwan.” During his news conference, Nixon dismissed the idea as “completely unrealistic.” (↑)

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