Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon quotes

Quotes by and about Richard Nixon

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

Nixon: "I know there are people that think ... 'If I could just not have to work every day I could be out fishing or hunting or playing golf or traveling, that would be the most wonderful life in the world.' They don't know life. Because what makes life mean something is purpose."

Nixon: "I don't think a woman should be in any government job whatever. ... Mainly because they are erratic. And emotional."

[Asked what he thought of intellectuals:]
Nixon: "Basically, they have no morals."

Nixon: "I don't give a good goddamn what Milton Friedman says. He's not running for re-election!"

Nixon: "I seldom display my inner emotions so that people can see them."

[Prior to the 1968 Republican primaries:]
Nixon: "I was confident that because of my background and experience [I was the candidate with] the best grasp of the issues."

Nixon: "I knew from experience that [maintaining unity in the Republican party] would be hard, boring, and sometimes thankless work. But this was the job that I increasingly saw as my own."

Nixon: "[A widespread concern was] the growth of permissiveness ... as traditional standards of social and sexual behavior were flouted or abandoned. I felt that to a large degree these excesses reflected the malaise of affluence."

Nixon: "Kissinger is ... less of a determinist [than I am]. He's more emotional. ... Though I too have emotions, I tend to hide them."

[Asked why he opened U.S. relations to communist China:]
Nixon: "Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbors."

New York Times: "Throughout the 1960s, Nixon worked on a political career that most people thought was over after his defeat by John F. Kennedy in the presidential race ... [but] he continued to develop his ideas [and eventually became president.]"

New York Times: "Nixon had few intimates."

New York Times: "[Nixon was fascinated by the] subject of the great leader, the man who boldly went on ahead, dragging his nation with him and changing the world. ... Such great leaders, in Nixon's view, were usually lonely and often misunderstood, but they nevertheless worked indefatigably to advance the interests of their nations."

New York Times: "[Nixon] kept a biography of Patton beside his bed."

[Confronted with the fact that his illegal wiretaps had broken the law:]
Nixon: "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Nixon's notion of the ruler's discretion is the opposite of that of Kant: "The Ruler is not above the Rules."


[When advised that his shoeheels were damaging the historical desk of the White House:]
Nixon: "That is intentional. I am leaving my mark."

[Watching Ford, Carter and Nixon next to each other:]
Bob Dole: "There they are: See no Evil, Hear no Evil and... Evil."

Mark Eubank: "[Nixon] acquired status in the family by mashing potatoes with complete conscientiousness and attention to detail."

[His mother:] "He never left any lumps [in the mashed potatoes]. He used the whipping motion to make them smooth instead of going up and down the way other boys did. ... He was the best potato masher one could wish for. Even in these days, when I am visiting [in Washington] ... he will take over the potato mashing. My feeling is that he actually enjoys it."

Jerry Moriarity: "In my meetings with Nixon I noticed that he seemed more comfortable meeting and chatting with just a few people than a crowd."