Nixon salute.jpgWell, sort of. Newly released tapes show that in the wake of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, Tricky Dick worried that legalized abortion would lead to “permissiveness,” and said that “it breaks the family.”

But he also saw abortion as “necessary” in some cases:

“There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, according to the NYTimes report, before adding, “Or a rape.”

As dotCommonweal blogger Mollie Wilson O’Reilly says, “You have to keep reminding yourself that the president knew he was being taped.”

Or as Andrew Sullivan notes, “So the 37th president would have aborted the 44th.”

Nixon’s always dodgy views on Jews emerge again as well in a phone conversation between him and Billy Graham–who also has had issues with dodgy statements on Jews–usually when talking to Nixon. In the latest transcript, “Graham complained that Jewish-American leaders were opposing efforts to promote evangelical Christianity, like Campus Crusade. The two men agreed that the Jewish leaders risked setting off anti-Semitic sentiment.”

“What I really think is deep down in this country, there is a lot of anti-Semitism, and all this is going to do is stir it up,” Nixon said, adding later: “It may be they have a death wish. You know that’s been the problem with our Jewish friends for centuries.”

But Watergate he didn’t see as a problem. So it goes…

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus