Wednesday, May 12, 1971 - 4:30pm - 4:32pm
Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford
White House Telephone

President Nixon: Yeah.

Operator: [House Minority Leader] Congressman [Gerald R.] Ford [R-Michigan], sir.

Gerald Ford: Hi, Mr. President.

President Nixon: Well you made it! Yeah.

Ford: 201--“197.1

President Nixon: That's great. That's great.

Ford: And I'll tell you, we've got some guys that really stuck their necks out, so--”

President Nixon: Well, I'll tell you, if you would--”I just got hold of [Congressional Liaison William E.] Timmons and I said to get us a list, and I'll get a little--”few notes down there, so that, you know--”yeah.

Ford: It would be very helpful.

President Nixon: Now, who was the fellow that helped you mainly on the Democratic side?

Ford: [Representative] Eddie Boland [D-Massachusetts].

President Nixon: Boland.

Ford: And Jack, or [Representative] John McFall [D] of California. They were the ones that really did the job for us.

President Nixon: How do the fellows feel?

Ford: Oh, they feel great. Even the ones that were against us--”

President Nixon: Yeah.

Ford: --”agree we put a real shot in the arm.

President Nixon: Yeah. Yeah. But is the spirit good on it, Jerry?

Ford: Yeah.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Ford: Nobody's unhappy. You know.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Ford: The ones that lost know we put on a good fight and--”

President Nixon: Yeah, yeah. And, well, it turned it around. Now, on the Senate side. You've got people working on them already, I suppose.

Ford: [chuckling] I haven't started there yet.

President Nixon: Yeah, I know.

Ford: But I think [Senator Alan] Cranston [D-California] and [Senator John V.] Tunney [D-California] and--”

President Nixon: And [Senator David H.] Gambrell [D-Georgia]. They're the keys.

Ford: --”Gambrell. Yes, sir.

President Nixon: Well, I think with [Senator Clinton P.] Anderson, [D-New Mexico] [Senator Henry M.] Scoop [Jackson, D-Washington] ought to be able to switch him around.

Ford: Right.

President Nixon: There's one.

Ford: Right.

President Nixon: And I'm going to try Cooper myself, just on a personal basis. That could be two. But whether you get one out of those other three and that fellow from Florida. Somebody ought to get to him.

Ford: Yes. And another, can't [AFL-CIO President] George Meany switch [Senator] Hubert [Humphrey, D-Minnesota] around? He's always very flexible.

President Nixon: Well, particularly in view of the fact that it's a different--”if, I'll tell you, if there's any way you can describe this as a different vote than the other one. See my point?

Ford: Right.

President Nixon: Now, if you can figure out a way to do that, I think you could get Hubert switched.

Ford: Well, there are some cost figures that persuaded some of our guys.

President Nixon: Yeah. Is that right?

Ford: Yeah.

President Nixon: [chuckling] OK. Well, I congratulate you. That was really a courageous job. And it'll have far-flung repercussions if we can--”even regardless of--”at least it goes to conference now, doesn't it?

Ford: That's right. They have to take it to conference.

President Nixon: And when it goes to conference, the House isn't going to yield, is it?

Ford: I don't think so. But if we can win over the Senate, boy, we're back on the track.

President Nixon: OK, Jerry. Thank you.

Ford: Thank you for calling, Mr. President.


1 The House had voted 201--“197 to resume financing the Supersonic Transport. New York Times, 13 May 1971, --œRoll-Call Vote in House on Financing of SST Project.-- (↑)

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