The Record has obtained 18 minutes of Watergate tapes, recordings of Richard Nixon’s conversations with John Ehrlichman, the President’s environmental advisor. The following is a selection of Mr. Nixon’s most revealing statements and thoughts.


On Growing Up Quaker: 

[Nixon]: John, do you know how God damn boring it was to grow up Quaker? I mean a whole hour of sitting in silence is, uh, difficult enough… for a teenage boy. Hormones and… The mind tends to wander, it goes screwy. I’d start imagining the women in the church. Naked. It would undo all the praying I had been working on.

[Ehrlichman]: Well sir, that’s understandable. I can only hope the Quaker women were lookers if you undid hours of praying with your imagination. 

[Nixon]:  They were not.


On The Environment:

[Nixon]: You ever just thrown trash out the window? It’s a damn good feeling. There’s nothing like launching a Coke can out of your Pinto while humming along at a cool 55 miles per hour. 

[Ehrlichman]: Sir, I can’t say I have littered before, but I feel as if this doesn’t do much to help your position with the new Environmental Protection Agency.

[Nixon]: Tell the Secret Service to warm up the car. We’re going for a drive to the Potomac and you’re going to throw some car batteries in the river. It’s about time you get some hair on your chest. 


On Checkers the dog: 

[Nixon]: John, I just hated that damn dog Checkers. You know, sometimes when Pat wasn’t home I would punt the pooch across the room because it looked at me funny. If the mutt hadn’t saved my candidacy, I would’ve been perfectly content with letting it rot in the pound. It’s a damn shame I don’t have Checkers to kick around anymore. 

[Ehrlichman]: Sir.


On The Vice Presidency

[Nixon]: John, the worst years of my life were spent rotting away as Ike’s vice president. It’s a lonely place, you know. I resented my lack of power. I would sneak into the Oval Office and, uh, rub my balls all over his pens and notes. Just to feel something, you understand. 

[Ehrlichman]: That’s very nice sir, but we have urgent developments in the FBI investigation that we need to discuss.


On Visiting Red China: 

[Nixon]: You know, one of my biggest regrets was that damn trip to Red China.

[Ehrlichman]: How come sir?

[Nixon]: I had to smell Mao Zedong’s breath for an entire week. I think the Great Leap Forward must have left toothbrushes behind. I couldn’t stomach the food either. I was sitting on the pot each night for longer than it took them to build the Great Wall.


On The Kennedy debates: 

[Nixon]: You know what bothered me about 1960, John? 

[Ehrlichman]: No sir, what bothered you?

[Nixon]: This notion that Jack Kennedy was better looking than me. He was softer than a Jello salad, and might I say light in the loafers. By God, if it weren’t for Pat, I would have to beat the ladies off me with a broomstick like they were dirty hippies blocking Pennsylvania Avenue. 

[Ehrlichman]: I am sure the youth of America swoon over you in private, just like they did when Paul McCartney landed here in ’63.


On The Moon landing: 

[Nixon]: I’m going to let you in on a secret John. We faked the whole moon landing. Brought that freak job Kubrick in to direct the whole thing. We couldn’t lose to the Reds, so we shot it all out in Encino. 

[Ehrlichman]: Sir, I am utterly shocked. So we haven’t really been to the moon?

[Nixon]: I wish you could see your face, John. By God, you are one stupid son of a bitch.

[Ehrlichman]: That’s right sir.

—E. Bohannon