Very interesting recordings it sounds like are being released by the Nixon Presidential Library. As the movie Frost/Nixon identified, Nixon was a complex man. It stands to reason that we don’t really learn about a President until many years after their leaving office. It will be interesting how our most contemporary Presidents will be judged in years to come: Obama, Bush W., Clinton, Bush H., ect. In these tapes Nixon discusses Roe V. Wade, Equal Rights, and getting more women involved in politics, sort of:
Nixon is heard on a muffled tape recording telling his special counsel that abortion is necessary in some cases – including instances of multiracial pregnancy.
Speaking to Charles Colson after the January 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, the president said: “I admit, there are times when abortions are necessary, I know that.” He gave “a black and a white” as an example.
“Or rape,” Colson offered. “Or rape,” Nixon agreed.
The records show Nixon seemingly resigned to the likelihood of South Vietnam’s eventual collapse even as he strong-armed its president, Nguyen Van Thieu, to accept a settlement that would extricate the U.S. from the massively unpopular war.
He told his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, he’d do anything to get Thieu to accede, “cut off his head if necessary.”
Nixon historian Luke A. Nichter said the circumstances surrounding Nixon’s acceptance of a flawed peace-deal will probably be what scholars note from the latest disclosures.
“Producing the Vietnam peace agreement took the administration to the emotional brink,” he said. “At the very moment of triumph after finally ending combat operations in Southeast Asia, that process caused deep and lasting fissures among the top ranks in the White House.”