The Who2 Blog

“The Jews Are Born Spies,” Says President Nixon

President Nixon: The Jews are born spies. You notice how many of them are? They’re just in it up to their necks.

Haldeman: Well, got a basic devious abil– deviousness that–

President Nixon: Well, also, an arrogance, an arrogance that says– that’s what makes a spy. He puts himself above the law.

That’s President Richard Nixon, having a friendly chat with his staff 40 years ago this month. Audio here.

Nixon was reelected the next year, with an electoral vote of 520-17. Here’s a campaign ad from that election, and from back in the day when 4.5-minute messages weren’t so unusual. “The man so few people know,” indeed. “A man of compassion, courage and conscience.”

I guess I’ll never get over the election of 1972, a year when Americans could have chose a genuine war hero, an actually compassionate and thoughtful Midwesterner, and a very nice guy — and instead, by a margin of 520-17, chose the crook who said “the Jews are born spies.”




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