Notable Quotes
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Defeat doesn’t finish a man -- quit does.

RICHARD NIXON, note written July 1969

North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.

RICHARD NIXON, speech, Nov. 3, 1969

No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.

RICHARD NIXON, New York Times, Mar. 28, 1985

Well, when the President does it that means that it is not illegal.

RICHARD NIXON, interview with David Frost, May 19, 1977

The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker.

RICHARD NIXON, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1969

I don't think a woman should be in any government job whatever. I mean, I really don't. The reason why I do is mainly because they are erratic. And emotional.

RICHARD NIXON, conversation with John Mitchell, Slate, Oct. 11, 2001

There is an international disease which feeds on the notion that if you have a cause to defend, you can use any means to further your cause, since the end justifies the means. As an international community, we must oppose this notion, whether it be in Canada, in the United States, or anywhere else. No cause justifies violence as long as the system provides for change by peaceful means.

RICHARD NIXON, speech, Oct. 1970

The bastards have never been bombed like they're going to be bombed this time.

RICHARD NIXON, statement to White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and Attorney General John Mitchell, April 4, 1972

Short of changing human nature ... the only way to achieve a practical, livable peace in a world of competing nations is to take the profit out of war.


NIXON: 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.

KISSINGER: I'm concerned about the civilians because I don't want the world to be mobilized against you as a butcher.

conversation with Henry Kissinger as quoted in Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

Others may hate you. But those who hate you don't win, unless you hate them. And then, you destroy yourself.

RICHARD NIXON, speech, Aug. 9, 1974

I have the greatest affection for them but I know they're not going to make it for 500 years. They aren't. You know it, too. The Mexicans are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they're dishonest, but they do have some concept of family life. They don't live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like.

RICHARD NIXON, tape transcripts from 1971, Harper's Magazine, Feb. 2000

Each moment in history is a fleeting time, precious and unique. But some stand out as moments of beginning, in which courses are set that shape decades or centuries.

RICHARD NIXON, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1969

If, when the chips are down, the world's most powerful nation, the United States of America, acts like a pitiful, helpless giant, the forces of totalitarianism and anarchy will threaten free nations and free institutions throughout the world.

RICHARD NIXON, nationwide address, April 30, 1970

Any nation that decides the only way to achieve peace is through peaceful means is a nation that will soon be a piece of another nation.

RICHARD NIXON, No More Vietnams

Whether we shape the future in the image of our hopes, is ours to determine by our actions and our choices.

RICHARD NIXON, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1969

Let us build a structure of peace in the world in which the weak are as safe as the strong — in which each respects the right of the other to live by a different system — in which those who would influence others will do so by the strength of their ideas, and not by the force of their arms. Let us accept that high responsibility not as a burden, but gladly — gladly because the chance to build such a peace is the noblest endeavor in which a nation can engage.

RICHARD NIXON, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1973

But also out here in this dreary, difficult war, I think history will record that this may have been one of America's finest hours, because we took a difficult task and we succeeded.

RICHARD NIXON, remarks to American troops of the First Infantry Division, Di An, Vietnam, July 30, 1969

This Nation must not break faith with those Americans who have a right to expect that Social Security payments will protect them and their families.... In the 34 years since the Social Security program was first established, it has become a central part of life for a growing number of Americans.... Almost all Americans have a stake in the soundness of the Social Security system.

RICHARD NIXON, speech, September 25, 1969

The American dream does not come to those who fall asleep.

RICHARD NIXON, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1969


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