Tuesday, June 1, 1971 - 10:17pm - 10:20pm
Richard Nixon, Rose Mary Woods
White House Telephone

President Nixon: Hello?
Rose Mary Woods: Hello?
President Nixon: Rose?
Woods : Hi, that was marvelous!
President Nixon: You . . . your little friends were really trying to get after us, weren't they?
Woods: Well, you know--”and they're all so doggone stupid, they've got to read their question.
President Nixon: Yeah, [chuckles].
Woods: And they were nasty.
President Nixon: Yeah, well . . .
Woods: Well, they weren't--”they were just--”they were really rough questions, and they really stayed with it. But boy, you just answered beautifully--”expression was great, it was just marvelous. It was, and--”
President Nixon: Well, I wasn't rough on them, but I was damned . . . I thought it was very important--”
Woods: Well, you were--”
President Nixon: --”to tell the American people that we weren't going to tolerate these demonstrators.
Woods: You know, that's right. What was beautiful was that you were not rough on them. You answered; you were just great. It was--”it was very good, and you didn't--”they didn't annoy you, you didn't let it show if they did, and it was just . . . it really was excellent.
President Nixon: Well, they were . . . and I thought it was good to get across on that credibility question, to say look--”
Woods: Oh, that was marvelous. [Laughs.]
President Nixon: --”look, we're going to . . . after all, it's an easy one because we're going to answer that with what we do. I think that got across.
Woods: I think that was just great, and when you smiled and said you wished all your problems . . . you know, were that easy, it was just . . . I thought it was just absolutely perfect.
President Nixon: But you know, I was . . . somebody was saying, "Gee, they really asked so many questions about the demonstrators," and I said, "Gee, I was glad they did," because the folks are for us on that issue.
Woods: Well, that's right. And you very patiently each time said that they were not dem--”that peaceful demonstrators had no trouble here. These were not peaceful demonstrators. It was just great. You said it just right, and you never . . . you know, you didn't lash out. It was just marvelous. I suppose they told you [Attorney General] John Mitchell called and said--”
President Nixon: No, I didn't hear that.
Woods: Oh, well, he called for you or for me, and he said that he thought it was absolutely great. The job was just very, very deft. That he was sorry that the Justice Department gave you so many problems. [President Nixon and Woods laugh.] He thought you handled all the questions just right, and he was very pleased. He thought it would make a very interesting study to have somebody analyze the questions and the way they were worded.
President Nixon: Yeah. All these people are just more concerned about the rights of the people that want to stop the government rather than the--”
Woods: Well, that's right.
President Nixon: --”rights of people who want to not have their tires slashed or their garbage thrown all over the place.
Woods: Yeah, the ones that want to go to work and be good citizens. Nobody cares about their rights. Oh, I thought it was just . . . it was great, and they were sort of stupid to keep pounding that question, because it really gave you a great chance. That was--”
President Nixon: They're really a nasty bunch [unclear].
Woods: Oh my, yes. And they're . . . you know, some of them when they ask questions, they just look so evil.
President Nixon: [Unclear.]
Woods: Oh! Just straight out evil. But it's really fantastic, but it was a great job.
President Nixon: Yeah, we'll see what happens. OK.
Woods: OK. Take care.

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