Miller Center

It’s a balls thing

This recording is presented as part of the Watergate Collection.
Date: Monday, September 13, 1971 - 4:36pm - 6:40pm
Participants: Richard Nixon, Charles Colson, Bob Haldeman
Location: Oval Office


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The discussion turns to the administration's Phase II economic policy.

President Nixon: [Unclear.] It'll start coming in. I hope for old George Shultz's sake it does. He's hanging on to the last. He said we were doing the right thing. Too bad we couldn't do this. He's right: They were doing the right thing. I think it's going to come anyway. That's what I think we have going for us. You see, I am not of the view that this new policy is what they think it is.

Charles Colson: No.

President Nixon: Bah. This new policy was necessary from a psychological standpoint on the economy. Point one. Second: the new policy in our terms was very important, from a leadership standpoint.

Bob Haldeman: Presidential leadership.

President Nixon: [Unclear] based on [unclear] and [unclear] handled the jail break. I mean, maybe that's leadership. Anyway, that's what they need.

Colson: And there's a third point.

President Nixon: It's a balls thing. It's a balls thing.

Colson: That's right. And there's a third point and that is that when the good results start coming in, it's because of what you did.

President Nixon: Holy shit. That's right. [Unclear] because of the economy.

Haldeman: It's not true that it is, but people will think that's what it is.

Colson: If--”if--”if--”

President Nixon: If any good results, Chuck, we're going to brag.

Colson: You get all the benefits. And if there'd been good results before it would have been, --œWell, we would have had these a year ago if the President had done something about it.-- I mean, it would--”anything that comes in now--”

President Nixon: You guys made a very good point.

Haldeman: That's the advantage of the [unclear] to the, to the--”

Colson: Yeah. Well, it is and it's the advantage to being upfront. And if prices come down, it's because you [unclear]--”

President Nixon: Internationally, of course, you see, despite the nitpicking from abroad. Let them nitpick us a little, but internationally, there are damned little constituents that you'll find abroad. But we have got--”we really needed it there. You needed a new bargaining relation. The United States has been a patsy [unclear].

Haldeman: Well, then, let's [unclear] alone.

President Nixon: [Unclear.]

Colson: Well, that giving-away-all-the-chips line, God, that's [unclear]!

President Nixon: People remember that, don't they?

Colson: Oh [unclear].

Mixed voices.