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Dick Nixon dice “¡Viva Mexico!” (sorta, kinda)

9 February 2007

… though Tricky Dicky complaining about thieves and crooks is a little like the pot calling the kettle black (which is definitely the WRONG metaphor to use here!)

From a May 13, 1971, conversation among President Richard Nixon, John D. Ehrlichman, and H. R. Haldeman. On October 5, 1999, the National Archives made available to the public 445 hours of previously unreleased Oval Office tapes. The following dialogue was transcribed by Chicago Tribune reporter James Warren.

RICHARD NIXON: I have the greatest affection for them [blacks], but I know they’re not going to make it for 500 years. They aren’t. You know it, too. The Mexicans are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they’re dishonest, but they do have some concept of family life. They don’t live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like.

JOHN EHRLICHMAN: The Mexican American is not as good as the Mexican. You go down to Mexico–they’re clean, they’re honest, they’re moral.

NIXON: Mexico is a much more moral country.

EHRLICHMAN: Monterrey, Cuernavaca. Go into slum areas, and by God they come out with clean shirts on a Sunday morning.

NIXON: The church. You find a helluva lot less marijuana use in Mexico than the United States…

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