- Buddy, before you join the jubilation at my being beaten again, you should remember: people vote not out of love, but fear. They don't teach that at Sunday School or the Whittier Community Playhouse!
- [to a portrait of John F. Kennedy] People look at you and they see who they want to be. They look at me and they see what they are.
- This is about me. Why can't you understand that, you of all people? It's not the war -- it's Nixon! They want to destroy Nixon! And if I expose myself even the slightest bit they'll tear my insides out. Do you want that? Do you want to see that, Buddy? It's not pretty.
- Always remember: others may hate you. But those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
- I believe Governor Brown has a heart, even though he believes I do not. I believe he's a good American, even though he feels I am not. I'm proud of the fact that I defended my opponent's patriotism. You gentlemen didn't report it, but I'm proud that I did that. And I would appreciate it for once, gentlemen, if you would just print what I say. For sixteen years, ever since the Hiss case, you've had a lot of fun - a lot of fun. But recognize you have a responsibility, if you're against the candidate, to give him the shaft, but if you do that, at least put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then. I think, all-in-all, I've given as good as I've taken. But as I leave you I-I want you to know -- just think what you're gonna be missing. You won't have Nixon to kick around any more [echoes] - uh, uh, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference. Thank you and good day.
- [saying farewell to his staff] There are many fine careers. This country needs good farmers, good businessmen, good plumbers, good carpenters. I remember my old man. I think that they would have called him sort of a, sort of a little man, common man. Well, he didn't consider himself that way. You know what he was? He was a streetcar motorman first. Then he was a farmer, and then he had a lemon ranch. It was the poorest lemon ranch in California, I can assure you. He sold it before they found oil on it. And then he was a grocer. But he was a great man because he did his job, and every job counts, up to the hilt, regardless of what happened. Nobody will ever write a book, probably, about my mother. Well, I guess all of you would say this about your mother. But my mother was a saint. When I think of her two boys dying of tuberculosis, and seeing each of them die, and when they died. Yes, she will have no books written about her. But, she was a saint. Now, however, we look to the future. I remember something, uh, Theodore Roosevelt wrote when his first wife died in his twenties. He thought the light had gone from his life forever. But he went on and he not only became President, but as an ex-President he served his country, always in the arena, tempestuous, strong, sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but he was a man.
And as I leave, that's an example I think all of us should remember. You see, we think sometimes when things happen that don't go the right way, we think that when someone dear to us dies, uh, when we lose an election, or when we suffer defeat, that all is ended. Not true. It's only a beginning, always, because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes when you're really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain. So, I say to you on this occasion, we leave, proud of the people who have stood by us and worked for us, and served this government and this country. We want you to continue to serve in government, if that is what you wish. Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. And always remember: Others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then, you destroy yourself. And so we leave with high hopes and good spirits and deep humility. And I say to each and every one of you, not only will we always remember you, but always you will be in our hearts, and you will be in our prayers.
- It took me a long time to fall in love with you, Dick. But it doesn't make you happy. You want them to love you. But they never will, Dick. No matter how many elections you win.
J. Edgar Hoover
- Why do you think Kissinger is taping your calls? For history. His word against yours — and right now he's got the records.
- Can you imagine what this man would be like had anyone ever loved him?
E. Howard Hunt
- [to John Dean] John, sooner or later, sooner, I think, you're gonna learn a lesson that's been learned by everyone who's ever gotten close to Richard Nixon. That he's the darkness reaching out for the darkness. And eventually, it's either you or him. Your grave's already been dug, John.
- Richard Nixon: I hate these cocktail parties. John, I'm in hell. I'll be mentally dead in two years and physically dead in four.
- John Mitchell: Make some money, Dick. Prove yourself to the Wall Street crowd. Let Goldwater and Rockefeller take the fall against Kennedy.
- Richard Nixon: I don't know why. I miss making love to the people. I miss entering a room. I miss the pure acting of it, John. I gotta get back in the arena.
- Richard Nixon: Nobody's gonna beat Kennedy in '64. Not with all the money in the world.
- Cuban Man: Suppose Kennedy don't run in '64.
- Richard Nixon: Not a chance.
- Richard Nixon: [speaking to a group of young protestors outside the Lincoln Memorial] Well, probably most of you think I'm a real SOB. I know that. I understand how you feel, but you know, I want peace too. But peace with honor.
- Student #2: What does that mean?
- Richard Nixon: Well, you can't have peace without a price. Sometimes you have to be willing to fight for peace, and sometimes to die.
- Student #2: Yeah? Tell that to the GI's who are gonna die tomorrow in Vietnam.
- Student #1: What you have to understand, Mr. Nixon, is we're willing to die for what we believe in.
- [the other protesters say "Yeah!"]
- Richard Nixon: [Turns and points to the statue of Lincoln] Look, that man up there, he lived in similar times. He had chaos and civil war and hatred between the races. Sometimes I go to the Lincoln room at the White House and just pray. But you know, liberals act like idealism belongs to them. That's not true. My family went Republican because Lincoln freed the slaves. My grandmother was an abolitionist, those Quakers who founded Whittier, my hometown... to abolish slavery. They were, y'know, conservative Bible folk, but they had a powerful sense of right and wrong. And 40 years ago, I was like you, looking for answers.
- [the protesters scoff, unconvinced. Haldeman arrives and push through the crowd to come to his side]
- Richard Nixon: It's OK, Bob, we're just rapping, my friends and I. In fact we agree on a lot of things, don't we?
- Young Student: No, we don't! You say you want to end the war, so why don't you?
- Richard Nixon: Change always comes slowly. I pulled out more than half the troops. I'm trying to cut the military budget for the first time in 30 years. I want a volunteer army. But it's also a question of American credibility, our position in the world.
- Student #1: Come on, Mr. Nixon. It's a civil war between Vietnamese.
- Young Student: You don't want the war, we don't want the war, the Vietnamese don't want the war, so why does it go on?
- [Nixon hesitates. Haldeman whispers "We should be going" to him]
- Young Student: You can't stop it, can you? Even if you wanted to. Because it's not you, it's the system. The system won't let you stop it.
- Richard Nixon: There's... there's more at stake here than what you want, or what I want.
- Young Student: Then what's the point? What's the point of being President? You're powerless!
- Richard Nixon: No. No, I'm not powerless. Because, because I understand the system, I believe I can, uh, I can control it. Maybe not control it totally, but tame it enough to make it do some good.
- Young Student: Sounds like you're talking about a wild animal.
- Richard Nixon: Yeah, maybe I am.
- Pat Nixon: This isn't political, Dick. This is our life.
- Richard Nixon: Everything's political, for Christ's sake! I'm political! You're political!
- Richard Nixon: You see, when I saw Bobby lying there on the floor, arms stretched out, his eyes staring... I knew then I'd be President. His death paved the way, didn't it? Vietnam, the Kennedys, cleared a path through the wilderness just for me. Over the bodies. Four bodies.
- H. R. Haldeman: You mean two. Two bodies.
- Richard Nixon: Four.
- [He walks up to a portrait of Abraham Lincoln]
- Richard Nixon: How many did you have? Hundreds of thousands? Where would we be without death? Abe? Who's helping us? Is it God or is it death?
- H. R. Haldeman: Eight words back in '72. 'I covered up. I was wrong. I'm sorry'. The American public would have forgiven him. But we never opened our mouths, John. We failed him.
- John Ehrlichman: Dick Nixon apologize? That will be the day. Most of his armor would fall off.
- Richard Nixon: [putting his arm around him] John, I want you to get away from this madhouse, these reporters, and go up to Camp David for the weekend. And I want you to write up a report. I want you to put everything you know about Watergate in there.
- John Dean: You want me to put it all in writing. Over my signature.
- Richard Nixon: Well, nobody knows more about this thing than you do, John. The details, that stuff, I don't know about.
- [a pause]
- John Dean: Sir, I'm not going to be the scapegoat for this. Haldeman and Ehrlichman are in just as deep as me.
- He changed the world, but lost a nation.
- He had greatness within his grasp.
- Triumphant in Victory, Bitter in Defeat. He Changed the World, But Lost a Nation.
- Shattered by a dangerous web of conspiracy, betrayal and intrigue!
- Anthony Hopkins - Richard Nixon
- Joan Allen - Pat Nixon
- James Woods - H. R. Haldeman
- J. T. Walsh - John Ehrlichman
- John Diehl - G. Gordon Liddy
- Paul Sorvino - Henry Kissinger
- Powers Boothe - Alexander Haig
- Ed Harris - E. Howard Hunt
- Bob Hoskins - J. Edgar Hoover
- Brian Bedford - Clyde Tolson
- Mary Steenburgen - Hannah Milhous Nixon
- E. G. Marshall - John N. Mitchell
- Madeline Kahn - Martha Beall Mitchell
- David Paymer - Ron Ziegler
- David Hyde Pierce - John Dean
- Kevin Dunn - Charles Colson
- Tony Goldwyn - Harold Nixon
- Saul Rubinek - Herbert G. Klein
- Edward Herrmann - Nelson Rockefeller