Richard Nixon


Richard Nixon Quotes

  • ''I don't think that a leader can control to any great extent his destiny. Very seldom can he step in and change the situation if the forces of history are running in another direction.''
    Richard M. Nixon (1913-1995), U.S. Republican politician, president. Quoted in Earl Mazo, Richard Nixon: A Political and Personal Portrait, ch. 18 (1959).
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  • ''The one thing sure about politics is that what goes up comes down and what goes down often comes up.''
    Richard M. Nixon (1913-1995), U.S. Republican politician, president. Quoted in Earl Mazo, Richard Nixon: A Political and Personal Portrait, ch. 17 (1959).
  • ''When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.''
    Richard M. Nixon (1913-1992), U.S. Republican politician, president. TV interview with David Frost, May 20, 1977. Quoted in I Gave Them a Sword, ch. 8, David Frost (1978).
  • ''Let us understand: North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.''
    Richard M. Nixon (1913-1992), U.S. Republican politician, president. television broadcast, Nov. 3, 1969. Quoted in Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician, ch. 14, Stephen Ambrose (1989). In his Memoirs, Nixon commented: "Very few speeches actually influence the course of history. The November 3 speech was one of them." On the subject of Vietnam, he later wrote: "No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now."("No More Vietnams" in New York Times (March 28, 1985)).
  • ''Castro couldn't even go to the bathroom unless the Soviet Union put the nickel in the toilet.''
    Richard M. Nixon (1913-1995), U.S. Republican politician, president. remark to interviewer, Sept. 1980. Quoted in Robert Sam Anson, Exile: The Unquiet Oblivion of Richard M. Nixon, ch. 17 (1984).
  • ''This is the greatest week in the history of the world since the Creation, because as a result of what happened in this week, the world is bigger, infinitely.''
    Richard M. Nixon (1913-1995), U.S. Republican politician, president. Remark, July 24, 1969, on U.S.S. Hornet welcoming back the crew of Apollo 11 four days after the first moon-landing. Quoted in Stephen Ambrose, Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician, vol. 2, ch. 13 (1989). A few days later, Ambrose narrates, the evangelist Billy Graham mentioned three greater days: Christ's birth, Christ's death, and Christ's resurrection. Nixon's scribbled response was: "Tell Billy R.N. referred to a week not a day...."
  • ''Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion.''
    Richard M. Nixon (b. 1913), U.S. Republican politician, president. Quoted in Sunday Times (London, November 13, 1988). Referring to the defeat of Michael Dukakis by George Bush in the 1988 presidential election.
  • ''People react to fear, not love—they don't teach that in Sunday School, but it's true.''
    Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), U.S. Republican politician, president. Quoted in William Safire, Before The Fall, prologue (1975).
  • ''Defeat doesn't finish a man—quit does. A man is not finished when he's defeated. He's finished when he quits.''
    Richard M. Nixon (1913-199 ), U.S. Republican politician, president. Note written July 1969, with reference to Edward Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick Bridge incident. Quoted in William Safire, Before the Fall, pt. 3, ch. 4 (1975).
  • ''The mark of a true politician is that he is never at a loss for words because he is always half-expecting to be asked to make a speech.''
    Richard M. Nixon (b. 1913), U.S. Republican politician, president. "The Campaign of 1960," Six Crises (1962).

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