History for the Rest of Us

Richard M. Nixon – ‘I Am Not a Crook’

Richard M. Nixon – ‘I Am Not a Crook’

Nov 17, 2012

The following is a transcript of a Question and Answer session with Richard M. Nixon at the Annual Convention of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association (APME). During the session, President Nixon delivered the now infamous line, ‘I am not a crook’. The Convention was held November 17, 1973 in Orlando Florida at the Contemporary Hotel at Walt Disney World. Listen to an excerpt of the session: Richard M. Nixon ‘I am not a crook.’ The President: President Quinn [president of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association] and Ladies and Gentlemen: When Jack Horner, who has been a correspondent in Washington and other places around the world, retired after 40 years, he once told me that if I thought that the White House press corps answered (asked) tough questions, he (I) should hear the kind of questions the managing editors asked him. Consequently, I welcome this opportunity tonight to meet with the managing editors of the Nation’s newspapers. I will not have an opening statement, because I know, with 400 of you, it will be hard to get through all of the questions you have. And I understand the president has a prerogative of asking the first question. Q & A WATERGATE AND THE FUTURE Q. [Mr. Quinn:] Mr. President, this morning, Governor Askew of Florida addressed this group and recalled the words of Benjamin Franklin. When leaving the Constitutional Convention he was asked, “What have you given us, sir, a monarch or a republic?” Franklin answered, “A republic, sir, if you can keep it.” Mr. President, in the prevailing pessimism of the lingering matter we call Watergate, can we keep that republic, sir, and how? The President: Well, Mr. Quinn, I would certainly not be standing here answering these questions unless I had a firm belief that we could keep the republic, that we must keep it, not only for ourselves but for the whole world. I recognize that because of mistakes that were made-and I must take responsibility for those mistakes–whether in the campaign or during the course of an administration, that there are those who wonder whether this republic can survive. But I also know that the hopes of the whole...