The Most Outrageous Richard Nixon Quotes

Nixon from behind, in front of a crowd

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This is a collection of the most ridiculous, outrageous and funny things ever said by President Richard Nixon.

  • "I would have made a good Pope." —President Richard Nixon
  • "When the President does it, that means it's not illegal." —President Richard Nixon, in a 1977 interview with David Frost
  • "Well, did you do any fornicating this weekend?" —Richard Nixon to David Frost before a 1977 interview
  • "You don't know how to lie. If you can't lie, you'll never go anywhere." —President Richard Nixon, giving advice to a political associate
  • "I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue." —President Richard Nixon, reflecting on the Watergate scandal in 1978
  • "I can say categorically that his investigation indicates that no one on the White House staff, no one in this administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident [the Watergate burglary]. What really hurts in matters of this sort is not the fact that they occur, because overzealous people in campaigns do things that are wrong. What really hurts is if you try to cover it up." —President Richard Nixon at the beginning of the Watergate scandal
  • "I was under medication when I made the decision to burn the tapes.'' —President Richard Nixon
  • "People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got."—President Richard Nixon at a November 17, 1973 news conference
  • "I urge the Congress to join me in mounting a major new effort to replace the discredited president." —President Richard Nixon, in his 1974 State of the Union address at the height of the Watergate scandal, fumbling a line in which he meant to say "replace the discredited present system"
  • "This is a great day for France!" —President Richard Nixon while attending the funeral of French President Charles de Gaulle in 1970
  • "I would not like to be a Russian leader. They never know when they're being taped." –President Richard Nixon
  • "I want to make sure he is a ruthless son of a bitch, do what he's told, that every income tax I want to see I see, that he will go after our enemies and not our friends. Now it's as simple as that. If he doesn't he doesn't get the job." —President Richard Nixon, on appointing an IRS commissioner
  • "I don't give a s**t 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." –President Richard Nixon to his subordinates in the White House during Watergate
  • "Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get them. The way I want that handled is…just to break in. Break in and take it out! You understand? … You are to break into the place, rifle the files, and bring them out…Just go in and take it! Go in around eight or nine o'clock. And clean it up." —President Richard Nixon in 1971, ordering his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, to break into the Brookings Institute, where he believed there were files that could be used to blackmail former President Lyndon Johnson. The conversation took place a year to the day before the Watergate break-in.
  • "You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We all know that. So was Socrates. Do you know what happened to the Romans? The last six Roman emperors were fags....You know what happened to the Popes? It's all right that Popes were laying the nuns, that's been going on for years, centuries, but, when the Popes, when the Catholic Church went to hell, in, I don't know, three or four centuries ago, it was homosexual." —President Richard Nixon, fretting to his top aides in 1971 that the Meathead character on All in the Family was bisexual
  • "I'm not for women in any job. I don't want any of them around. Thank God we don't have any in the cabinet.'' —President Richard Nixon in a taped 1971 conversation with his chief of staff, in which he discussed the political advantages of nominating a woman to the Supreme Court, despite the fact that he personally regarded women as too "erratic" and "emotional"
  • "Sure, there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too." —President Richard Nixon
  • "When I grow up, I want to be an honest lawyer so things like that (the Teapot Dome scandal) can't happen." —President Richard Nixon
  • "It is the responsibility of the media to look at the President with a microscope, but they go too far when they use a proctoscope." —President Richard Nixon
  • "Do you know what happened to the Romans? The last six Roman emperors were fags....You know what happened to the Popes? It's all right that Popes were laying the nuns, that's been going on for years, centuries, but, when the popes, when the Catholic Church went to hell, in, I don't know, three or four centuries ago, it was homosexual." —President Richard Nixon
  • In a tape-recorded 1972 Oval Office conversation between President Richard Nixon and Rev. Billy Graham, the nation's best-known preacher agreed with a stream of bigoted comments Nixon made about Jews and their perceived influence in American life.
    Graham: "This stranglehold (of Jews in the media) has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain."
    Nixon: "You believe that?"
    Graham: "Yes, sir."
    Nixon: "Oh, boy. So do I. I can't ever say that but I believe it."
    Graham: "No, but if you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something."
  • "You know, it's a funny thing. Every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists." —President Richard Nixon to White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman
  • "You know, the big Jewish contributors to the Democrats. Could we please investigate some of the c***s***ers? That's all." —President Richard Nixon
  • "Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I wouldn't want to wake up next to a lady pipefitter." –President Richard Nixon, quoted in Ms. Magazine in 1971
  • "The Irish can't drink. What you always have to remember with the Irish is they get mean. Virtually every Irish I’ve known gets mean when he drinks." -President Richard Nixon to Chuck Colson, White House hatchet man
  • "The Italians, of course, those people course don't have their heads screwed on tight. They are wonderful people, but." —President Richard Nixon to Chuck Colson
  • "I think we ought to move tanks, the whole goddamned thing. Put a division in there, if necessary, It's time for action on it. If some Indians get shot, that's too goddamned bad. If some Americans get shot, that's too bad, too." —President Richard Nixon on the standoff at Wounded Knee with Native American militants
  • "It must not appear that you're trying to affect the network's news content. That's what you must do, but you must not appear to be doing that. That would be stupid." —President Richard Nixon, ordering staff members to get Bill Moyers's new show on PBS off the air
  • "As I leave you I want you to know—just think how much you're going to be losing--you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." —Richard Nixon to the press in 1962 after losing the California election for governor
  • "Reagan is not one that wears well. On a personal basis, Rockefeller is a pretty nice guy, Reagan on a personal basis, is terrible. He just isn't pleasant to be around. He's just an uncomfortable man to be around...strange." —President Richard Nixon in 1972
  • "I'm not going to be the first American president to lose a war." —President Richard Nixon in October 1969, six years before the Vietnam War finally ended
  • "It is necessary for me to establish a winner image. Therefore, I have to beat somebody." —President Richard Nixon
  • "Solutions are not the answer." —President Richard Nixon
  • "Politics would be a helluva good business if it weren't for the goddamned people." —President Richard Nixon
  • "I have often thought that if there had been a good rap group around in those days, I might have chosen a career in music instead of politics." —President Richard Nixon, reminiscing about his life in an audio tape narration at the Nixon Library
  • "You know, I always wondered about that taping equipment but I'm damn glad we have it, aren't you?"—President Richard Nixon to Watergate co-conspirator H.R. Haldeman in April 1973, weeks before the Senate began its hearings
  • "Voters quickly forget what a man says." —President Richard Nixon