002-067

Date: 
Thursday, April 29, 1971 - 10:40pm - 10:49pm
Participants: 
Richard Nixon, Charles Colson
Location: 
White House Telephone
Listen: 


 

President Nixon: Yeah?

Operator: I have [White House political operative] Mr. [Charles W. “Chuck”] Colson now, sir. There you are.

President Nixon: Hello.

Charles Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Well, you always say that [laughs].

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: I was pretty tough.

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Duration: 44s

President Nixon: They were tough, yeah.

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Well, they were trying to get at me, and I knew that they were trying to get at me, and I just wouldn't let them it.

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: The what?

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Below the belt, but that's all right. It gave me a chance to say, ‘Here's a guy that's got a shoulder injury and goddamn it, he ought to be in the White House.'1

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Duration: 13s

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: So they thought it was all right, huh?

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Nobody recognized, I said I was still against it.

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Duration: 23s

President Nixon: I thought saying that nobody in this country, not even the president, is above the law, is a good thing to let the country know.

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: But also saying that if they come peacefully, fine, but if they break the law, we're gonna prosecute them to the limits of the law.

Colson: [Unclear.]

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Duration: 15s

President Nixon: Well, there isn't going to be. Hell, we haven't got the troops.

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: That's right.

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: [Unclear.]

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Duration: 12s

President Nixon: Did they show me talking into the camera a couple times?

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Yeah, where I said that, ‘You, know, I know that many of you in this'--I really stuck the press, I said, ‘Many of you in this audience agree with the demonstrators. You disagree with my policy. I understand. I respect it, but I don't agree with you.' And it's well to tell the bastards that.

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Well I thought, too, the line was not a bad thing that I worked out, that I said that it's not peace in our time but peace in our time that I'm concerned about.

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Duration: 4m31s

President Nixon: OK, Chuck. Now, Chuck. See that there's a follow up now. Have a few senators say a few kind words tomorrow, you know. They should say, ‘Well, by God, the President's right.' Can you do that?

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Who can you get to place the thing?

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: [Senate Minority Leader Hugh] Scott[R-Pennsylvania]? [Senate Minority Whip Robert P.] Griffin [R-Michigan]?

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: All right.

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Mm-hmm.

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Tell them that we appreciate what they're doing, you know. Tell them that you and I have talked and [unclear] appreciate what they're doing even though we haven't heard [unclear].

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: You told him?

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Yeah.

Colson: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: OK, boy, follow up now.

Colson: [Unclear.]

 

1 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. (↑)

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