The Maniacal Mind of Richard Nixon

More Nixon:

• "You don't know how to lie. If you can't lie, you'll never go anywhere." — Nixon's advice to a political associate

• "I'm not going to be the first American president to lose a war." — Nixon in October 1969, six years before the Vietnam War finally ended

• "The only place where you and I disagree is with regard to the bombing. You're so goddamned concerned about civilians and I don't give a damn. I don't care." — to Henry Kissinger — quoted in Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg

• "I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I've reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We'll just slip the word to them that, for God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about Communism. We can't restrain him when he's angry and he has his hand on the nuclear button." — quoted in The Ends of Power by Robert Haldeman

• "I don't give a shit what happens. I want you all to stonewall—plead the Fifth Amendment, cover-up, or anything else. If that will save it, save the plan." — Watergate cover-up

• Below: Stephen Colbert looks back at the ups and downs of the Nixon presidency. Gives Nixon credit for notable accomplishments. Worth 4 minutes.

Yet More Nixon:

• "Reagan is not one that wears well ... on a personal basis, is terrible ...  isn't pleasant to be around ... strange." — in 1972

• "The Irish can't drink ... they get mean." — to Chuck Colson

• "The Italians, of course, those people course don't have their heads screwed on tight." — to Chuck Colson

August 9, 1974

August 9, 1974

Still more Nixon: 

• "Well, did you do any fornicating this weekend?" — to David Frost before a 1977 interview

• "I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue." — Nixon reflecting on the Watergate scandal in 1978

• "Voters quickly forget what a man says." — Nixon

flag pin for label.jpg

• "The tradition only goes back about 40 years, when Richard Nixon started wearing a flag lapel pin regularly ... got the idea from Bob Haldeman — who picked it up from Robert Redford’s 1972 film, “The Candidate.” — Stephen Ambrose per Washington Post

"The Justice Department has agreed to pay $18 million to the estate of former President Richard M. Nixon in compensation for presidential papers, photographs and tape recordings that were seized after Mr. Nixon's resignation in 1974." — New York Times, June 2000

• From USA Today: Corrections & Clarifications:
"A story Feb. 21, 2005 wrongly attributed a quote to Richard Nixon as saying Hunter S. Thompson was that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character. It was Thompson who made the remark about Nixon."

(additional sources: hbo,,,