Reel

Nixon Press Conference

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541674_1_1
Yes
Washington, DC
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1970  (Actual Year)
Color
01:45:22 - 01:52:20
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HD:
1164
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Tape 1164 Part 1 May 8, 1970. Nixon Press Conference. Questions focus on actions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, as well as student protests and Kent state.

Nixon Press Conference

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541674_1_2
Yes
Washington, DC
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1970  (Actual Year)
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01:45:22 - 01:46:19
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1164
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REASONS FOR THE CAMBODIAN ACTION John A. Scali, ABC News. Mr. President, how do you answer the criticism that the justification that you give for going into the Cambodian sanctuaries is hauntingly similar to the reasons that President Lyndon Johnson gave as he moved step by step up the ladder of escalation? He wanted peace, too, sir. President Nixon. Mr. Scali, President Johnson did want peace, and, if I may use the vernacular, he has taken a bad rap from those who say that he wanted war. However, the difference is that he did move step by step. This action is a decisive move, and this action also puts the enemy on warning that if it escalates while we are trying to deescalate, we will move decisively and not step by step.

Nixon Press Conference

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541674_1_3
Yes
Washington, DC
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1970  (Actual Year)
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01:46:19 - 01:47:44
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1164
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WILL THE WAR PROVE WORTHWHILE? Paul F. Healy, New York Daily News. Mr. President, this war was well underway before you came in, as you just said. Now, considering the toll in lives and in everything else that is happening now, do you think this war has proved to be worthwhile? President Nixon. It is rather a moot question, Mr. Healy, as to whether it will prove to have been worthwhile. As Commander in Chief, I have found for 525,000 Americans it has been my responsibility to do everything I could to protect their lives and to get them home as quickly as I can. And we have succeeded pretty well. We brought 115,000 home. We are going to bring another 150,000, and this action will assure the continued success of that program. However, looking at the whole of Southeast Asia, looking at the fact that we have lost lives there, I would say that only history will record whether it was worthwhile. I do know this: Now that America is there, if we do what many of our very sincere critics think we should do, if we withdraw from Vietnam and allow the enemy to come into Vietnam and massacre the civilians there by the millions, as they would if we do that, let me say that America is finished insofar as the peacekeeper in the Asian world is concerned.

Nixon Press Conference

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541674_1_4
Yes
Washington, DC
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1970  (Actual Year)
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01:47:44 - 01:49:42
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1164
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POLICE AND NATIONAL GUARD CONDUCT Reporter. Mr. President, in the light of the Kent State University incident, could you tell us what, in your judgment, is the proper action and conduct for a police force or a National Guard force when ordered to clear the campus area and faced with a crowd throwing rocks? President Nixon. We think we have done a rather good job here in Washington in that respect. As you note, we handled the two demonstrations, October 15 and November 15 of last year, without any significant casualties, and that took a lot of doing because there were some pretty rough people involved a few were rough; most of them were very peaceful. I would hope that the experience that we have had in that respect could be shared by the National Guards, which, of course, are not under Federal control but under State control. Now, what I say is not to be interpreted as a criticism in advance of my getting the facts of the National Guard at Kent State. I want to know what the facts are. I have asked for the facts. When I get them, I will have something to say about it. But I do know when you do have a situation of a crowd throwing rocks and the National Guard is called in, that there is always the chance that it will escalate into the kind of a tragedy that happened at Kent State. If there is one thing I am personally committed to, it is this: I saw the pictures of those four youngsters in the Evening Star the day after that tragedy, and I vowed then that we were going to find methods that would be more effective to deal with these problems of violence, methods that would deal with those who would use force and violence and endanger others, but, at the same time, would not take the lives of innocent people.

Nixon Press Conference

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541674_1_5
Yes
Washington, DC
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1970  (Actual Year)
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01:49:42 - 01:51:00
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1164
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CAMBODIA'S FUTURE Reporter. After the American troops are removed from Cambodia, there may still be a question as to the future of Cambodia's ability to exist as a neutralist country. What is your policy toward Cambodia's future? President Nixon. The United States is, of course, interested in the future of Cambodia, and the future of Laos, both of which, of course, as you know, are neutral countries. However, the United States, as I indicated in what is called the Guam or Nixon Doctrine, cannot take the responsibility and should not take the responsibility in the future to send American men in to defend the neutrality of countries that are unable to defend themselves. In this area, what we have to do is to go down the diplomatic trail, and that is why we are exploring with the Soviet Union with not too much success to date, but we are going to continue to explore it with Great Britain, with the Asian countries that are meeting in Jakarta, and through every possible channel, methods through which the neutrality of countries like Cambodia and Laos, who cannot possibly defend them. Selves to see that that neutrality is guaranteed without having the intervention of foreign forces.

Nixon Press Conference

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541674_1_6
Yes
Washington, DC
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1970  (Actual Year)
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01:51:00 - 01:52:20
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1164
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PROGRESS TOWARD GOALS Reporter. Mr. President, in your Inaugural Address, you said that one of your goals was to bring us together in America. You said that you wanted to move us in international terms from an era of confrontation to an era of negotiation. You said you wanted to bring peace to Vietnam. During the past 2 weeks, it seems that we are farther than ever from those goals. How do you account for this apparent failure? President Nixon. Don't judge us too quickly. When it comes to negotiation, I would suggest that you recognize the fact that some very important talks are going forward on arms limitation with the Soviet Union. We are still far apart. But I will predict now that there will be an agreement. When that agreement comes, it will have great significance. I say that having in mind the fact that we are far apart from the Soviet Union in our policy toward Southeast Asia, in our policy toward the Mideast; but I say that where the problems of arms is concerned, here is where our interests are together. The Soviet Union has just as great an interest as we have in seeing that there is some limitation on nuclear arms.