tv Nixons White House Wars CSPAN July 9, 2017 7:30pm-9:01pm EDT
former nixon white house aide pat buchanan. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon and welcome to the new nixon library. i am the president of the richard nixon foundation. we are honored to have several council members here today and a special member joining us today, shelley buchanan. [applause]
shelley started working for richard nixon before pat. has that ever been pointed out? we look forward to it. thank you for the support that enables us to promulgate the legacy and encourage civics and citizenship in our community. i hope everyone here today can consider being a council member. i would like to introduce several people were the enemy might because this is almost a family reunion and you can tell when i complete how many alumni from the administration and people that were close to the president during his career are here today as a very special group. first served for h. r. haldeman. [applause] a member of the board of directors from the foundation we certainly appreciate the service and focus on advancing the legacy.
thank you. >> sandy quinn also a board member and former foundation president. [applause] we have one individual i don't see here but i really want to recognize him because he's very special to the foundation. [applause] colonel brennan is a vietnam veteran purple heart recipient. [applause] the first marine military aid to the president of the united states. he became close to president nixon and served as his chief of stafchief ofstaff from 1975 to . he was memorably if not necessarily accurately played by kevin bacon.
he's a treasured friend of the nixon family and a mainstay to the nixon foundation. thanks to colonel brennan is the judge superior court of california. [applause] before ascending to the bench jim represented at the 27th district in the house of representatives. under president george w. bush, he served as undersecretary of commerce and as the director of u.s. trademark office for many years he was at the university law school. overnight ben stein became one of the most famous people in america because of his ability to repeat one word in so many inflections. bueller. [applause] while he so often noted for
that, he's an author, actor, economist, attorney, tv pundit. he served in the white house as a speechwriter for presidents nixon and among his many important assignment was writing the groundbreaking healthcare message to congress in 1974. thank you. [applause] i would also like to recognize frank who joins us today, a white house fellow that became a special assistant to the president. he led the design and construction of the library which has received two national awards and hopefully a third next month in new york. he currently acts as a special advisor to the richard nixon foundation. [applause] when i make a reference to the reunion there are two other very important individuals i want you to meet and honor. they both joined the staff of senator richard nixon in 1951
working with nixon's loyal and loving personal secretary rose mary woods. since then they have been mainstays of every x. in office and campaign and )-close-paren to the nixon family. he served in the white house as the assistant though he was with the foundation and the nixon library before its opening in 1990 until she retired in 2007 and remains assistant treasurer of the foundation board. their combined knowledge and loyalty and dedication, their intelligence and integrity have guided them as far as generations of colleagues and friends. we are delighted that march is a witness today. [applause] and now the reason we are here today, to welcome pat buchanan and his new book, the white
house wars. "the new york times" already recommends the book that we should purchase and read and it describes past as one of the most consequential conservatives of the past half-century. to introduce patty called on his white house colleague and longtime friend. a native california he joined the 1968 campaign while he was in new york and columbia university law school and as soon as he graduated he joined the nixon administration as a staff assistant and then as a speechwriter and special assistant to the president. he joined the former president to work on his memoirs and was his chief researcher for the interviews. ronald reagan's presidential campaign he traveled with the candidates to enhance the speeches and in the white house he was the chief speechwriter. among the many memorable and
historic speeches he wrote was festering and moving farewell address for the public and national convention in 1988. he then also worked in the successful campaign. today he's a veteran of nine presidential campaigns and has been an adviser and strategist for governors and jurists and many of california's most distinguished public servants. he served for many years and that foundation board of directors and continues to advise and contribute in the current emeritus capacity will. thank you. [applause] he still lives there and remains active in law and politics and community life. we are delighted that he and his wife were here today and don't get me started on meredith biography.
please join me in welcoming the great american the great californian and great friend of the nixon family and foundation. [applause] 50 years ago i was a student at columbia law school, i saw an article in "the new york times" about the staff that was surrounding the then potential candidate richard nixon and among that, the members of the staff would have buchanan. i wrote a letter to nixon asking if i could help on the 68 campaign and mentioning that maybe one of these fellows i could work for them and i didn't get a letter back the first time so i wrote it again.
meredith worked on wall street about three blocks from the nixon office so she handcarried at this time and it's been a while but a few weeks later, i got a letter back from one of the assistance and i've got that letter here from 50 years ago. [applause] i will give it to you later to copy. so i met pat in his cubicle on the office is on fifth avenue before we went over to 450 park and i told them i'd like to do some research and among other things i was a law student but i was raised on a farm in california and told them i knew farm issues.
he started shooting questions to me and asked me about an obscure agricultural concept in the harry truman years called the brennan plan, but i knew about it and i knew nothing about it. so i thought i messed up my interview in all my chances on working on the campaign. not only that but i found out that because i was from columbia, pat thought i was from the rockefeller campaign. >> to this day he still thinks that. so she must have taken pity on me and told me to come in and put me to work and answering correspondence and the rest is history. that began a friendship as a colleague and a workmate. pat came my boss and i started working first on the communications shop and then shifted over but to give you a
little insight from the nixon white house i have a title emanated became a noun in the white house and worked for bob olbermann. so those of us in the white house, the number of people that worked for anyone in the white house larry and his last name became a noun, so john ehrlichman, the assistant was ehrlichman higbee and ron higbee and happened to the diane sawyer and even higbee had a higbee.
so i was buchanan's higbee and that became the 50 year longtime friendship. that was part of the white house that was very unique. it was part of a murderer's row of speechwriters that they'd had ever since. pat buchanan, phil safire, ray price who came to the nixon staff from the new york herald tribune, and he'd written interestingly enough the editorial that endorsed lyndon johnson over barry goldwater and two journeyman speechwriters as the most remarkable staff ever. pat buchanan has remarkable career with nixon when he became
the writer, researcher, briefer traveler campaigning and along with this current book you really have to buy his book the greatest combat on this remarkable period had worked with. richard nixon rose. it is no was not only the consee conscience but the strategist for the president. no other single person in my judgment had the same creative insight into the american political mind able to capture
the forces shaping america in the 60s and 70s as pat did. he knew president nixon better than anybody else. you will find in this book when you read it it is a roadmap to the great battles with the american left and the media. if you were in the white house at the time that we were there, it is a true insight to the years we were there. the records left behind in the great society was the era the computer keypad took away the
he leaves the royalty and credulity to the personal conviction. they enjoy the pass and when we were here in saint clementi they would visit and he would be so happy to have him there the room was full of laughter and all the political gossip he would bring back from washington and the back and forth they would have and stories of the great battles they worked on and the insight and the president would ask pat what was going on and they would share stories. it was fun to watch the interaction.
[applause] ♪ ♪ >> thank you. i can still remember him coming down to the university at park avenue and after the interview with me was going down the hall and i said check this guy out i think we have a rockefeller spy. and he went on to be a strategist for the greatest political mind of the century but richard nixon. [applause]
and the speechwriter for one of the greatest communicators of all time, ronald reagan. [applause] i have just been on a tour of the library now that frank annan and others build and have really fixed it up and it was the first time i had seen it. i will say for the folks who are here in the c-span audience and of course everyone here having worked with the old man for eight and a half years into shelley worked even longer with him, you can't watch that film without having your heart torn at. it is magnificent. i barely got through it. but you ought to see it. let me talk now about nixon and what was in the buck the battles that changed america basically divided america forever.
he is listed to some of what was going on in the 60s but we can or can't 68 that year before richard nixon took office. we took off january 302001 for new hampshire 1968. romney had been in the race for a couple of months not doing well. we flew up to new hampshire and i remember him asking me about the offensive that just occurred. and that of course cost lives and many weeks before they got back to the capital.
they got out of the race and then began what they called crazy march. lbj didn't even have his name on the ballot. then after that happened to be one of course the landslide and after that happened, bobby kennedy in the senate went through the same senate room where jack kennedy declared for president declared for the nomination around march 17 a few days after new hampshire and then richard nixon had me at the end of march waiting at an airport in laguardia to report
so reagan didn't get in. so there was a convention hotel that night was may 28 we went to celebrate because we won big and early. the interesting thing of that night is the first he'd been beaten in the first race since world war ii and bobby kennedy was coming up from california. we went down to the front of the bench hotel. when an aide of mine called me from headquarters and said
kennedy had been shot. it would be interesting if we went to the democratic convention more so than ours. so i went out there and i happened to have a suite on the 19th floor of what he called the comrade who tell. i had gone down in the street and went across and was partway at the school at grant park and they always pointed me out fbi, fbi. [laughter] so i was up on the 19th floor
watching where they were raising cain and who walks in but norman mailer with the heavyweight champion josé torres and i was alone. we looked out and a line of police came down, turned to the right, turned up michigan avenue and they headed into the park and wailed on these folks for 15 minutes. josé torres was cursing the police. i remained silent because i was rooting for the police. [laughter] after what those fellows had been giving to me that their resolve the democratic party come apart right there in the streets of chicago, a historical event. i almost felt, i did feel sorry for hubert humphrey coming out. he remained constant and they were attacking him for the first five weeks he couldn't get any speeches done and been sure thee
enough he gave his salt lake city speech and started moving and i think harry can remember that. it was 43 for nixon and the beginning of october 28, humphrey and wallace was 21, 7.5. by the end of october, 43-43 all. we've lost 15 points. people don't recall hubert humphrey had a phenomenal comeback in the month of octob october 1968. so then we got in the white house and america was coming apart after 1968. they had 31,000 when nixon took office, no end or victory in sight. the president was the first since zachary taylor in 48. there was a hostile press corps
it was the leading economist of the day for the "washington post." he wrote on the eighth of october and said we were practicing the breaking of the president. it is becoming more obvious with every passing day that the movement that broke the authority in 1968 are out to break richard nixon. with the successe success is thd in 1788 we are in the eye of the
hurricane and he would have been a great king that he inherited a revolution and it was about a day or two later bob haldeman called and said when do you think the president should make the speech and i said we have to demonstrations coming up, the biggest in washington. you don't want to be spooked by these things, so sure enough the president picked the third between october 15 demonstration and the one coming on novembe november 15 for the silent majority speech. now let me say there are a lot of people that have gained credit to that, but it belongs to richard nixon and as far as i know, the speechwriter i looked at my files but didn't find a
they inherited an instant analysis. they trashed it. and they failed miserably in paris and trashed what the president had done as well. so we had messages the next day or so unite so again the memo to the president said in effect, it is now time to go public with the hostility and deal with the hostility and power of the networks. two thirds of the american people it was their primary source of information about the nation. and about the world was three networks where you had about 12 men in new york and washington decided what people saw and heard about their country. and what they should think basically and one of the ways about the president. so i told the president that we had to take the money i would
be delighted to read a speech for the vice president.we had a plan we sent it over to bob. he took it in and and memo back with writing on it saying he has seen, go ahead. >> means that the president has seen it, go ahead and write the speech for him. we will deliver in a couple of days. which is what we did. and the vice president went out to des moines, iowa and delivered a speech in the 13th and the speech was one of the greatest successes certainly in the career of vice president agnew who had been ridiculed and part of that time. and i can still remember when i finished the speech, i went over to them. in the oval office he was doing some editing on my work. i was little concerned because i thought the speech was a poetic masterpiece.
and he had his coat and tie on. and he had his reading glasses on. and he had a out. and he's read on, he said quietly in sort of a murmur, -- i broke out laughing and he did too because we know this is really going to set the country on fire the first president ever to take on the national press and national networks and i will tell you, when i was done with the final draft and said that if the vice president the two changes came from the president. i remember i got word because we had put something in the speech that really would bug him to see what people here
tonight depends on them not us. we decided to go live and then i went up to the university club a little nervous. and sally called and said cbs and nbc are going live with the speech. this is either going to be a great speech or this is the end of my political career. and agnes speech was almost as much of a sensation as the president of the united states richard nixon's. and agnew gave next week another speech would help him with and so what had happened, the president of the united states tried to reach out and work with the democrats. people talking he didn't break i'm telling the truth. price worked on that and it was conciliatory but what happened is, going to break nixon as a broken lyndon johnson. at the end of the year, 1969,
richard nixon if you can believe it, was that 60 percent in the poll and 19 percent disapproval. astonishing! here was nixon seven years before that have been written off as the biggest loser in american politics. astonishing! we move forward now, larry do you have that water up here? [laughter] thank you. [laughter] a little more energy also in there. we advance not to another event. it was april 28, 1970.
i got a call, i was in the executive office building looking out on 17th street.i get a call from the united states saying to come down to my eob office. so i did. i came into his office and he said quickly, we are going into cambodia. we are sending american forces into cambodia and we are going to clean out fishhook and -- both of them. one of them is the headquarters for vietnam and the other was closest to saigon. they had eight of them, nixon says we are going into every one of them. and he said we are going to start bombing. and i was taken back because he said if you start bombing and they know we are coming. and that is where i learned the secret of the administration but he said we have been
bombing them for a long, long time. and this was the famous bombing of cambodia which lately they'll try to impeach richard nixon but they did not do so. so, nixon gave me a draft from the national security council. if he didn't like. he said there are some good paragraphs in here but it is dry. we need something else. so he dictated paragraph after paragraph to me and i wrote them down on those famous yellow pads. he says give them back and get this back to me in three hours. and don't tell anyone and don't give this speech to anyone. and so i said, i had to tell my secretary because it she will have to type the draft as i start writing. so tell her but no one else. i knew this would make a problem for the individual who was national security advisor, doctor kissinger. so worked up the draft, to get down to the president after three hours when i was done
with it and went up to the university club where they all, we all swam as an all men's club. so we swim with their bathing suits and i'm swimming up and down the pool. somebody comes in is is mr. buchanan you have a phone call in the -- from the white house. and it was the voice of henry kissinger. there is the speech. so we were going back and forth fighting over this. the president did his final draft himself. in the speech was, explosive for the reason that most of the country assumed we were just continuing to move out of vietnam. he was going to clean out the sanctuaries basically, so the american troops in vietnam would be secure while we were withdrawn and also to reduce casualties. but the country sort of exploded. and it added to it, the president went over to the pentagon to get the report the next day on how well the troops were doing. and when he came out there was
a woman, her son and her husband were in vietnam. and she said thank you. and so president nixon said you know my son or my husband is over there. so the president said, you know if there are kids over there, men over there, they are terrific. and then you take these bombs long of campuses. and he came back to the white house and said the comments started to rise. two days later the national guard shot four students at kent state and wounded nine. and the full story was that in ohio, the crowds in the city, they have burned down much of the main street, the governor had come in and called out the national guard. they burned the rotc building sunday night on the campus. and then on monday, the crowds got out there and national guard were backing up the hill. and pieces of concrete and
rocks and things were thrown at them. but there were four people dead in ohio as the song goes. and none were rooted. so this, exploded and richard nixon was blamed and they called in bombs and people shot the bombs. it was really awful. he called a press conference friday night in the 70 morning he had that famous visit to the lincoln memorial where he got up in the middle of the night and went over there and up to the capital and over to the mayflower for breakfast. and he was, then two days later students at jackson state were shot. african-american students who had nothing to do with the riots that had gone in the street but the police had fired at them. so i mean, i saw in those days and i think -- if you will, president nixon before the watergate broken him.
i've never seen him so down and i have got in my book, i have memos from the white house staff was divided, the country was divided and i have never seen the president have it so tough. and how he got through it alone is a remarkable tribute to the man because there are a lot of people who in the white house let the president know that they thought he had not done the right thing. let me move from there to this, the politics with ken talked about adam briefly.the political strategy of the nixon administration. while i think he is, he ranks right up there as a success, politically in the 20th century with fdr, he created the new deal majority that got five
straight presidential elections. and mix-in's ranks up there. let's go back and, 1962. after next -- after nixon lost to jeff can be and got beat by family during the time of the missile crisis. and then abc ran a documentary on the political obituary and -- he was at the bottom of his career. by 1972, richard nixon was back and one the latest landslide in american political history. now how did he do that in terms of political strategy? basically when i went to work for nixon in 1965 argue that i know all about nelson rockefeller 1960 when nixon tried to bring about together
nixon and republicans strong enough together to be john f. kennedy. and rockefeller of course behaved badly and the president taken as vp. and i told him by 65 because i said the center of gravity of this party has shifted. so we have just seen a bunch of outsider conservatives. student types and types in california had taken of the republican party nationally. at the same time you are mr. republican. yet the center of the republican party locked up. if you can marry these conservatives to the center of the party, forget about the rockefeller win. he had to get these together, you have the nomination. this basically was a strategy nixon did not leave the liberals of the party but he did put together this coalition
to keep reagan from coming against him successfully. and that won him the republican nomination. the woman got into the white house, the question was i recall is that it was 43 all. we were tied up at the end of the race with humphrey coming back. and so, we needed a strategy to build a majority. and so you have heard an awful lot about the southern strategy and there is no doubt there was a southern strategy. but there was also northern catholic strategy. and i grow catholic in northwest d.c. and you can call it a ghetto but basically was a community and -- they liked nixon. he was a middle american. he had a lot of things going for him but they did not have the hostility to nixon to be found in the new york elites that despise the old man. so there are two huge blocks of
the democrats so we can get on a variety of issues. one is the northern catholics. folks like the people i grow with.in the other zombies of the southern protestants. mr. nixon had a solid position. he supported every civil rights bill. but he didn't change the position of civil rights. we got some new issues. it was a time of anarchy. so we we were going to be the law and order party. we have to back up the cops and we did that. and the counterculture and all of the revolution sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll. and so nixon was a traditional and he stood up for it. and he had dizzy gillespie in the white house and woodstock they had that summer. so we did that to carry out
traditional culture and then he has supporting the troops in vietnam. most of the working class, middle-class folks are the ones that had their sons over there. so nixon stood behind the troops in vietnam for peace and honor in vietnam and against the demonstrators. and against the radicals, against the guys that had the moratorium in 1969 had spun off on the monument lot in going over and near trudges off the department of justice with the vietcong flag and placed it on old glory. and mitchell i remember was on the fifth floor looking out and he told his wife mark they look like the russian revolution down there. so we stood with those folks unabashedly and the issues of elitism. mr. nixon stood with populism, not a horse populism but for the average guy, the middle americans. the forgotten americans, the silent majority. all of these folks which would
then, the broad majority was exactly right. we stood with them and all of these folks kept or started moving out of the democratic party and away from the dead aquatic police like kennedy and mcgovern and the rest of them. and the number of democrats. we have something in there about scamming in 1970 the majority said democrats better wake up. because these folks, they like nixon and they like the view that they got and they don't like all of this radicalism. the country was basically, they were re-dividing the country differently with richard nixon and the republican party were ending up with the larger half which was astonishing. we had less than one third of the house and the senate. less than one third of the governance.
the republican party was on his back. richard nixon had built it and 66 and 90 was proceeding to make it the center core of the vast majority which would do what? win for five presidential elections in coming years. all four of those would be my 40s that majorities with 149 - with one 49 state majority. -- after 1970 was over, it was january 20 1971. nixon sent me a memo to me that wanted to know why we weren't hammering - harder. it was one of the things we agreed on. nixon could face in 1972 was ed
muskie. in 1916 or 1970 when we ran a pretty rough campaign have given a nationwide speech which condemned nixon and all the rest. and depressed like him and his position. he was a catholic, a real threat to the catholic strategy. so i wrote a memo to the president and very strong terms and we will have to go after him. will have to take this man then he is the main appeared and teddy kennedy can't be this, -- we ought to go down to all the kennels and -- president nixon was constantly prodding us. even billy graham was telling mr. nixon sir you know, he is
very strong in the south and what are you doing buchanan i thought you supposed to handle this? so we had something i hesitate your stories ended this it was the pentagon papers. the day after trish got married. in the rose garden that next sunday. the new york times full of memos from the department with secret, classified put altogether. from the kennedy and johnson administrations. they were clearly designed to damage the war effort. clearly designed to point out that we were - in the war. they supported the war because injury was outraged by, the president was outraged by it and they turned out to be i guess bella - very quickly so
mr. nixon and i don't think it was a wise idea pushed them to head up and get an investigation going and run it out of the white house because hoover, his father-in-law or former father-in-law apparently was very close to hoover. and he wasn't doing so they said the president wants you to do it buchanan. the investigation. and i said well i am not eliot ness. i don't know how to investigate anything. [laughter] so they pushed me to head it up and i said i will go over and talk to these investigators and people that got together from various departments of justice and elsewhere. who knows where. i went into the meeting with these characters that had sideburns and guns and none of them had jackets on. and i am supposed to head of this group. and so, as i understood not going to get ellsberg with
everything i was done but dig everything that would discredit these people. so buchanan, i am not sure of this but what he reports that they were engaged in orgies. and i said look, he did about five percent in the polls. you guys left that out and he will shoot up to 15 percent. [laughter] and these guys, all of the cowboys started laughing! webex the white house is that i'm not doing this job. i am not doing the job. regrettably, someone took it over otherwise i would've been in charge of gordon liddy and -. anyhow, the muskie thing with a strategy that we were in
on this working together, it was as effective as anything i've seen. against muskie. muskie got going and was going extremely well. he looked like the nominee and then up in new hampshire to my knowledge, we didn't do it to this day. c-span listening, we didn't write that. but this letter arrived where muskie had left and an insult. and of course the french canadians, many of whom i found her living up in new hampshire. they were not amused by this and my friend, a publisher published this and denounced muskie so muskie shows up in front of the union leader. and breaks down in tears. in front of the union leader, this is all found. and so, what happened after that is muskie one new hampshire by about 10 points but it was a small note
considering that he came from next door. so then he goes down to florida and muskie is wiped out by george wallace. he swept every county in the state of florida and wiped off the floor with six liberal democrats including muskie that ran before him. muskie was pretty much out of the race. and ken and i had written and i just put into my notes here, when i wrote nixon a memo after i did an analysis for him of muskie, humphrey, kennedy and scoop jackson. long analysis with thousands of words to study and researched all of the press clippings and everything we had and i had it done and then i looked and i said muskie, candidate jackson, humphrey. are the only credible ones that we see his democratic candidates.
as no president is so virtuous as to be granted george mcgovern to run against. and we had gotten in june 1972, we had gotten george mcgovern. and let me move now to the watergate thing. watergate events the break-in of june 17. let me deal with it this way, the whole thing watergate lasted 22 months from the break-in until the president's resignation. and again, i got a call from ken on june 17 after they had broken and send five people broken into the watergate headquarters of the dnc and i knew instantly it was probably our folks.almost surely from the committee to reelect. so that preceded and it was not too huge until the spring of 1973. and then through the time when we decapitated the entire white
house staff. the president did. and then we went to the tapes and we reeled watergate hearings and i testify for four hours before the committee because of the pack of lies released that we had run some dirty tricks strategy which we had not. and it came down to october. one reason i want to mention this is because it was brought up in the firing of james comey. everybody, told folks i did not arrange to have the firing of james comey. at the president announced that the demo book was published with a chapter on the saturday night massacre. so let me tell you again, to put this into some perspective of where the president was. it is october. i just as a front of the watergate committee and we were down in key biscayne. the president said come down take a couple of days off. and we were down there.on october 6, the egyptian army
crossed the suez canal in a surprise attack and moved aircraft down to the calculation of the american air force out of the sky. kill the thousand israeli troops and were punching through the sinai peninsula. they were breaking through "nixon's white house wars" defense minister, surprised because it was a jewish high holy day. he was said to be preparing six nuclear weapons on his aircraft and he said this may be the end of the third temple. see how this war started in the middle east and going. then you have the vice president resigned on october 10. and then you have the great argument in the white house over who should replace him. and then we worked out a deal with the special prosecutor or we thought we had. worked out a deal to turn over the subpoena tapes to the special prosecutor. here is what the deal was. we would provide all of the watergate materials and tapes.
not the tapes themselves. the senator, democrat from mississippi would validate they would complete inaccurate regarding watergate. and then they would be provided to the watergate committee, to the judge, to the prosecutors. elliott richardson, i was told was a board with the deal could howard baker was aboard. senator irvin was aboard. everybody was aboard. and so, we weren't sure archibald, the special prosecutor was aboard. my understanding was that richardson had said that if cox refuses to accept the deal, he will not be allowed to subpoena anymore tapes. and if he box i will tell him that is it. and if he refuses and goes after more tapes, i will exercise my duty that he is gone beyond bounds and i will - myself. so we were all set. and so al called me and said here's the deal.
i said as elliott aboard and he said yes. so then we find out he is not aboard. so i sent a memo to the president and he said come over to the oval office. around 330 on saturday he went into the office and very calmly explained. he said we are in moscow, they have been putting nuclear weapons and ships. the airborne divisions are moving toward airfields. and we have got american forces on heightened alert. i cannot have my attorney general successfully define me when we have them over there watching my reaction to what is going on. i have no choice but to do it. and to this day i think he had no choice. [applause] i think you did the right
thing. [laughter] let's just come of the circumstances of this are all lost in what you see here the president just went over to their everybody out of the special prosecutor's office when they were doing such a nice honorable job. we can't go, we want to get to some questions. let me talk about what we are really, the achievements of richard nixon. and again, this library really has done magnificently.a washington post editor says i think we belong to the next generation. we have never known a time growing up with when he was not
an issue in the election. and we are likely in other developed times were he is not a matter of discussion. and i think that's right.doug shown, i don't know if you had him out here. his democratic strategists. a very bright fellow that worked in our campaigns and richard nixon was the most consequential political figure of the second half of the 20th century. bob dole's famous eulogy said that she met an american history -on five tickets. richard nixon, and fdr's. richard nixon set the all-time record for being on the cover of time magazine 55 times from case, the senate race of the presidency, to his own presidency and beyond. and foreign policies, what did he achieve?
he promised to bring troops in. debbie is home from vietnam. and he did. he negotiated the greatest strategic arms limitations agreement since the 1922 washington naval agreement. he opened up china which is communist china which had been sealed for 25 years since the horrors of the korean war. in the six-day war i'm sorry the yom kippur war that i just described have saved israel. - herself. among american presidents richard nixon is the best friend that we ever had. and in egypt, even at the end of his presidency brought egypt back around out of the soviet bloc into the western camp. and domestic policy. he ended the draft. he enacted the 18-year-old
votes. i do remember one comment we were sitting in a meeting and baker was there and the senator in 1966 helped left him. senator baker was there and they were working on the clean air act i think. i do remember a comment that the senator made. he said, when we get finished with this thing, the only thing that's going to be able to move in america is a small pony. last month what else did he do? created osha. he indexed social security protected against inflation. he elevated the national cancer institute. and declared a war on cancer. he had four justices elevated to the supreme court including one president, one future chief justice. he desegregated the southern schools. even tom wicker, a liberal democrat and anti-nixon
columnist in the new york times wrote a book called one of us. about nixon when he said he believes it was his greatest achievement. he moved the nation also -- a lot of these things are historic events. so politically i think he was rivaled only by fdr. and he prepare the ground thankfully for ronald reagan forgotten of the 49 state landslide 12 years later. and i worked for ronald reagan and one time he pulled me aside and said i think mr. nixon, i think mr. nixon had a pretty good foreign policy. [laughter] despite what he had said left month so it was richard nixon? well politically speaking, again, let me take your story. - a famous bridge correspondent had been writing things about president nixon.
he wanted an interview and he got to me and i told mr. nixon he should do it. and so i was in the room with the oval office when nixon knew and he said good british writers don't take notes they just sit there and listen. they memorized and they walked out and re-created. so nixon, -- if he had entered politics at the time of the new deal rather than the postwar era. and nixon wrote him a wrong memo which is in my book. the way he grew up and how it affected when he was and was not against government action. didn't believe that folks like him should really rely on the people, they should all use government that really needed it. so nixon came to power in the postwar 1946. anti-communism and the cold war, these were the issues
initially that i think made him and defined him from 46 with the bottles and -- by 1968 he had clearly moved on. you think he moved on from an anti-communist small semiconservative to a much broader vision. of the world. in the do think he generally, it was a touch of woodrow wilson. this identity could create a generation of peace. i thought myself that we had had one of those. but he generally believed that. and so and domestic policy, i think the term for him is progressive or pragmatic republican when it comes to issues like epa. he was not adverse using government if he felt it could do good for the people. he was not urged to that.
and all the programs you see described here indicate that. he was not a libertarian is my first political hero was. nixon was also in internationalist but not a globalist. you can go back to 1947 where he is going off to europe and he and jack kennedy. it was like that folks supported the marshall plan. nato, containment of the soviet union. unlike the old taft conservatives.in politics richard nixon i think is fair to say in his strategy, political strategies and tactics he was anti-elitist. partly populist. middle american is a sin. representing those who are unrepresented in his own way. the combination of those three things i think were the things that gave him the mammoth landslide in 1972. socially and culturally he was
a traditionalist. and it inconsistencies about the old man, i think it is in my book, i did a briefing but agnes who did that for nixon when he was vice president and when i went to work for him and 65 and 66 pretty soon he had me doing the books for him in new york. then during the campaign of 68. and all of the presidency he will go over to his office and he would say what my briefing book by such and such a date. and i would get, whether of the papers and get all the questions out that the press was asking. i will go to the briefings, get the questions asked. hope all the major departments. pushing the secretary on, is there anything, give me a head's up. and after a while it got so i can predict almost every question that was asked of the
press conferences. and sometimes actually predicted every single one. after one of those press conferences were nixon, in 1973, i had gotten every question and it was obvious i predicted everyone.and so he called as he did after press conferences and buchanan you did your usual excellent job. and it is the predicted every question that they asked. and i said yes, sir. i believe we did. he said, there are other questions in the briefing book that were not asked. and i paused and then he said, next time leave those out. [laughter] one other time goes to one of my various - in 1992 i decided to take a leave from
crossfire -- my sister and i put together a little organization we went up to new hampshire and nixon was i think president bush was about 70 percent i was at 15 and - was at five. so went up there and we did well. and sure enough, we cut it down to where president bush be me but it was only 51 to 37. so we did that 10 weeks. we went to georgia and did as well. but then came super tuesday and there were eight primaries. and i was wiped out in all eight. so we were sort of feeling down and so i called nixon and he came on the line. i said mr. president, 10 for 10, not bad. and it nixon said buchanan, you're the only extremist i know with a sense of humor. [laughter] >> thank you very
much, appreciate it! [applause] >> thank you pat. have has agreed to answer some of your questions but before he does i want to plug the book. they are available for order in the museum store and down the colonnade. our first question. >> the first or most of our over here and you're right. i can't stop thinking the first four months of our current president's initiation but nixon's final speech the day he resigned.
he said things like those that hate you don't when unless you have them and he also said never be petty and he was telling people like monica crowley at the end of his life he probably told you he was asking rhetorically what did go through the fire if others were not going to learn from my mistakes? and are you afraid that the current president is doing things that are just going to hand the same enemies of the proverbial sorts that they will stick it in and twist it with relish? >> i think president trump has gotten the worst media i have seen of any candidate or president for the last i would say 18 months of his campaign and the first four months of his presidency. there's no question about it and the mood in washington d.c.. the things that are broken so far, in terms of substance. this is no watergate. we don't have a single crime
yet that has been alleged against the white house staff. and yet, the mood and hostility and animosity on the t.v. and cable t.v. and the rest of it are unlike anything i have seen. i think i was quoted in the press saying i don't know how you sustain this kind of intensity. and hostility. it has only been four months! and you have 44 -- so i don't know how this is going to end but i don't know that it is going to end well for the country. i do think the president is in some danger now of losing the critical margins that he is got in the house. his people moving away from him and congress if he is unable to do what he wants to do, and unsupported donald trump. one reason greatly he came down and the issues and race, border
security, staying out of foreign wars, it is none of america's business. new trade arrangements is what we don't have a $400 billion deficit and the chinese taking all of these factories of the country. so he had all of those issues and i supported him. i do think he is, i do think he has got some real problems and i do think quite frankly there is some of how he is handling it. we didn't call the press names when we did we had a speech, a major speech. two speeches and i mean the president, no doubt nixon felt he was getting a terrible - at times when he contained himself and was very disciplined. self-discipline is not the first phrase that comes to mind when i think of the president. [laughter] >> i have a question in the back row. >> hello.
as a young individual i'm very much concerned about the massive immigration and i just want to make sure that what can we do to modify and repeal the 1965 immigration law that has drastically changed this country and has had an impact in california. and what your thoughts about wall street? [applause] >> i worked in mr. nixon's office for three years. on the 1965 act, i was an editorial writer in st. louis. i don't recollect even taking a position on it in adult, lyndon johnson's memoirs, that was enacted him even think he mentions in his memoirs. i looked it up and could not find it in his memoirs.
i agree with you. this is one of the issues i ran on in 1990. which was a call for a moratorium when all immigration cut the numbers down to a certain level. and so they could assimilate and americanize and acclimate everyone who had come. many many millions. over those years folks in it come from eastern and southern europe came in the 1890s to the 1920. and they had a period of low immigration. so by the time he got to 1960, 97 percent of us all spoke english. and will have the same culture, traditions, histories and holidays. [applause] >> to your point, i don't know that you can get that through if you talk about repeal of the 65 act. i don't know that you can get that through congress or the united states or not. i don't know that the republicans would go with it. i don't know, initial president trump would go with it. but i understand and i do believe immigration and i have
read a great deal about your. it is the problem, the legal problem i think of western civilization. [applause] >> could you tell us a little bit about to your recollection mr. nixon what he thought about george wallace and how much he was inspired by wallace and getting white working-class democrats to vote for him? >> you talk about governor wallace. when we were with nixon, wallace in 1964 had come out of alabama and torn up the democratic primaries. he did tremendously well in wisconsin and indiana into maryland. i think he won a majority of the vote in maryland coming out as a governor is starting off
basically as anti-civil rights laws and things are being imposed in the south. and 68 of course he ran as a democrat which meant he wasn't going to run as a third-party candidate. in 68. so there was no doubt about it, he had an enormous appeal that nixon regulars and it was populist. and the longer he is often 64, 66, 68. the more you added to his repertoire, he was talking about -- i know some four letter words, work and he was moving people along those lines. there was no doubt that he got the books you want to get. nixon had a position that he wasn't going to abandon. so what was best for us was to get wallace of the race or lose the democratic nomination. but in 68, governor wallace was
shot out there. 72, i'm sorry he was shot 72. he was leaving the democratic party and votes and he won maryland and michigan the next day peers and he was a powerful force but i think wallace could not win the democratic nomination and he could not win the general election. anything got into any general election as he did, and 68, basically he siphoned off votes that would otherwise go to nixon. i did look after the 72 election. wallace, where he had gone 173 votes, nixon got 172 of them. in other words, they didn't go to george mcgovern, they came to us. so this was the whole idea of the southern protestant strategy. we need to get wallace not to run. to do that as a third-party
candidate, but rising any higher he couldn't do it but in a way nixon couldn't compete with it. he couldn't compete with it. we sent agnew down there and i with him because he competed very well getting the votes and frankly, there's a quote - in my book. when lyndon johnson told mr. nixon on the right up to the inaugural, where everybody was praising muskie and what a wonderful job is done. and johnson didn't think anything of it. but he thought i knew had really done a way and they helped us in north carolina, tennessee. against north carolina, tennessee and states like that. >> a question in the center. right here. >> okay. >> he speak a lot about what president nixon inherited in
vietnam. i lost my go to vietnam. looking back in hindsight of the things that kennedy, johnson or nixon might have done to either change the outcome of the war or speed of the country's departure from vietnam? >> obviously since, my brother was over there. and i was supporting the war from the very beginning from the time i was in school when jack kennedy put the 16,000 green berets went in. george wallace was not all wrong when he said his slogan was win or get out. he was all wrong. i think, the united states of america reduced the japanese empire to rubble. the greatest empire age i'd seen in four years. they could have one not work. i think what happened was the american establishment was
broken in vietnam. he lost the will. it would not take the measures necessary to win the war. therefore when president nixon came in 69 he decided we have to get out and the consequences, you have to know the consequences can be bad. my view was in president next i would say this. i talked to him after he left office. he says he should have done is 69 what he did in 72. which was - bomb hanoi and unleash the tower of the united states to win the war or break the vietnamese. i don't know why he didn't do that. and you know, i don't know why of course i don't think you can blame president kennedy but i think lyndon johnson raised up to 500,000 troops. the new national security advisor mcmaster, i just read
yesterday he wrote a book about 20 years ago where he blames a johnson, mcnamara and others is really having behaved dishonorably. during that war and not realizing what the outcome was going to be. that is something that almost, i would like to hear your view because i brother came back -- >> what is your comment? >>. [inaudible question] >> i will say it can be -- the cambodian thing was a success.
straight down from cambodia, all the way to the end of the war. there were at least 200 and 300 week when we came in. >> we have time for one more question. i want to remind everyone that "nixon's white house wars" is available for purchase. our final question. >> is an honor to asking this question. you have been my political idol since i was a kid. my question to you sir is, how to go about bringing younger millennialist to our cause? thank you. [applause] >> it is, as is anti-me that is a great question. which means i need time to think of it. [laughter] it is hard to say because i have written a number of books. i really think that the 60s
was a time when, it was a time when a significant slice, a small but articulate size of the country basically had the idea that it animated country in through all the generations on culture, morality, issues of race. various things like that. the ideology if you will had spread and deepened. to the point where we could win 49 states but we can't do that anymore. the country has so changed and academic communities so change in the school systems have changed. and the values are so changed. it is a very tough, when you say over to our side of the republican party, they are doing at the state and local level okay but i believe where
the, and i am a bit of a pessimist. i am a believer that things of change are not going back again. and if you're talking politically what they call the blue law of the 18 states and the district of columbia that before 2016 went democratic. in all of the previous selections. that is growing. demographically, it is very difficult for me to see how the republican party at the national level has any great longevity especially in the gentleness question. continued mass immigration which comes now from third world folks that depend heavily upon government. and don't understand the ideas of republicans about smaller government.i remember when i was running in 1992 i was in the gym working out and and
hispanic american said what are you going to do about education? and i said by and large it is a local state responsibility see really need to focus on the state and local. and he said what are you going to do for education? because that's what i care about. he was the federal government to do it. and i think republicans have a very difficult time. reaching these folks, there's no question about it. television broadcasting? fox has got some problems these days. [laughter] [inaudible] >> book, county journalism school in 1962. and there enough the top journalism school in the country. 65 americans, 15 foreign folks. [inaudible]