Kitchen Debate

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The Kitchen Debate was a series of impromptu exchanges through interpreters between U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon, then 46, and Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, 65, at the opening of the American National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow on July 24, 1959.


Nixon: There are some instances where you may be ahead of us, for example in the thrust of your rockets for the investigation of outer space. And there may be instances, for example color television, where we're ahead of you...
Khrushchev: In what are they ahead of us? Wrong! Wrong! We are ahead of you in rockets as well as in the other technique. I do not capitulate.

Khrushchev: If I don't know everything, then I would say that you know absolutely nothing about communism; nothing except fear of it.

Khrushchev: Let's compete. The system that will give people more goods will be the better system, and victorious.

Nixon: To me you are strong and we are strong. In some ways, you are stronger. In others, we are stronger. We are both strong not only from the standpoint of weapons but from the standpoint of will and spirit. Neither should use that strength to put the other in a position where he in effect has an ultimatum. In this day and age that misses the point. With modern weapons it does not make any difference if war comes. We both have had it.

Khrushchev: For the fourth time I have to say I cannot recognize my friend Mr. Nixon. If all Americans agree with you then who don't we agree [with]? This is what we want.
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