These are difficult times for people who are defending the Nixon administration. No matter where they go they are attacked by pseudo-liberals, McGovern lovers, heterosexual constitutionalists and paranoid John Dean believers.
As a public service, I am printing instant responses for loyal Nixonites when they are attacked at a party. Please cut it out and carry it in your pocket.
1. Everyone does it.
2. What about Chappaquiddick?
3. A President can’t keep track of everything his staff does.
4. The press is blowing the whole thing up.
5. Whatever Nixon did was for national security.
6. The Democrats are sore because they lost the election.
7. Are you going to believe a rat like John Dean or the president of the United States?
8. Wait till all the facts come out.
9. What about Chappaquiddick?
10. If you impeach Nixon, you get Agnew.
11. The only thing wrong with Watergate is they got caught.
12. What about Daniel Ellsberg stealing the Pentagon Papers?
13. It happens in Europe all the time.
14. People would be against Nixon no matter what he did.
15. I’d rather have a crook in the White House than a fool.
16. LBJ used to read FBI reports every night.
17. What’s the big deal about finding out what your opposition is up to?
18. The president was too busy running the country to know what was going on.
19. What about Chappaquiddick?
20. People that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
21. McGovern would have lost anyway.
22. Maybe the Committee for the Re-Election of the President when a little too far, but they were just a bunch of eager kids.
23. I’m not for breaking the law, but sometimes you have to do it to save the country.
24. Nixon made a mistake. He’s only human.
25. Do you realize what Watergate is doing to the dollar abroad?
26. What about Harry Truman and the deep freeze scandal?
27. Franklin D. Roosevelt did a lot of worse things.
28. I’m sick and tired of hearing about Watergate and so is everyone else.
29. This thing should be tried in the courts and not on TV.
30. When Nixon gives his explanation of what happened there are going to be a lot of people in this country with egg on their faces.
31. My country right or wrong.
32. What about Chappaquiddick?
33. I think the people who make all this fuss about Watergate should be shot.
34. If the Democrats had the money they would have done the same thing.
35. I never did trust Haldeman and Ehrlichman.
36. If you say one more word about Watergate I’ll punch you in the nose.
A. If the person is bigger than you: “If you say one more word about Watergate I’m leaving this house.”
B. If it’s your own house and the person is bigger than you: “What about Chappaquiddick?”
This column was originally published in The Los Angeles Times on July 12, 1973.