June 23rd, 2009
04:49 PM ET
5 years ago

Nixon to Bush 41: Find 'attractive' women

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Richard Nixon believed one way to shore up the GOP in 1973 was by recruiting "attractive" women, but not because he was "for women," according to audio tapes released Tuesday.

In February of 1973, President Nixon called future president and then-Republican National Committee chairman George H.W. Bush, and recounted a recent visit to the South Carolina state legislature.

"I noticed a couple of very attractive women, both of them Republicans, in the legislature," Nixon told Bush. "I want you to be sure to emphasize to our people, God, let's look for some... Understand, I don't do it because I'm for women, but I'm doing it because I think maybe a woman might win someplace where a man might not... So have you got that in mind?"

Bush replies, "I'll certainly keep it in mind."

The tape was among the approximately 154 hours of White House tape recordings and approximately 30,000 pages of documents released Tuesday by the Nixon Presidential Library, which is run by the National Archives.


Filed under: George H.W. Bush
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Enlightened Voter

    Typical republican shallow thinking. They care naught for the constituents, just for winning.

    June 23, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Larry

    TO MR. GEORGE W. BUSH:

    Q>>Who won the 100 Meters Track Olympic Gold Medal in 2008?
    A>>Usain Bolt of Jamaica.
    Q>>Who is the World Record Holder for 100 Meters ?
    A>>Usain Bolt of Jamaica.
    Q>>Names of some runners who did not even Qualify the Heats?
    A>>Fabio Cerutti – Italy; Desislav Gunev- Bulgaria; Uchenna Emedolu- Nigeria; Sandro Viana- Brazil;
    Q>>Now if these runners who did not qualify, start criticizing Usain Bolt and start teaching him how he should run a race, what will it be implied or construed?
    A>>It will be implied and construed that these guys are nuts, crazy, and idiots.

    Theme of the story: George W. Bush is like those runners trying to criticize Obama who won the race like Usain Bolt.

    MR. BUSH: STOP CRITICIZING OBAMA

    June 23, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Julie

    I think that philosophy was still in practice in the VP selection of that party in the 2008 election.

    June 23, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. windfall

    Nixon was never known for being classy.

    June 23, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. What!

    Well the repubs have spoken........Women were just used as tools!
    "Understand, I don't do it because I'm for women, but I'm doing it because I think maybe a woman might win someplace where a man might not..." The funny thing is that they still do the same thing and Palin is the perfect example. Wow!!!!

    June 23, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Joe in CA

    I guess McCain was in on the conversation when he picked dim wit Palin. Same 'ole Republican strategy, over and over. Go for "looks" not substance.

    June 23, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Open Your 3rd Eye

    ATTENTION OBAMA HATERS:

    You have been watching way too much Obama Deception!!

    LOL!!

    You believe EVERYTHING you see, hear, and read on the INTERNET!!

    LOL!!!

    June 23, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Mike Moderate

    Wellllll......the GOP has not changed a whole lot since then.

    At least with Nixon we only have some xxxx hours missing on tape and with Bush and Cheney we have zillions of emails "lost"

    Ahhhhhhh....the good old days of the GOP with "Tricky Dick".....not much has changed since then.

    Let's hear more from the recordings..........

    June 23, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Randolph Carter

    CNN, this is so obviously a setup for a Palin joke. It's just so easy it's not even fun. Have a nice evening

    June 23, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. knock me over with a feather

    Anyone surprised?... Anyone?

    June 23, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. David

    Yeah....just turn the red light on, and see what it attracts. No wonder republican politicians and their followers are not known for their thinking ability, but control issues, anger management issues, and they keep getting caught in sex scandals with anything that moves.

    June 23, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Moderate Democrat

    "Understand, I don't do it because I'm for women"

    And that, in a nut shell, sums up how Republicans all around the country feel about women.

    June 23, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Susan from TX

    Discrimination at its' best. How sad.

    June 23, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. WhoCares?

    ""I want you to be sure to emphasize to our people, God, let's look for some… Understand, I don't do it because I'm for women, but I'm doing it because I think maybe a woman might win someplace where a man might not… So have you got that in mind?""

    OMG...How many think this EXACT SAME conversation happened when the Republican Vice-President was being chosen last election.

    Wow..How some things stay exactly the same.

    June 23, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. Liberals have Mental Disease

    Obama is spending trillions of dollars and people are talking about Nixon, Palin, Bush, and Republicans. Are all of you posting aware that your taxes are going up dramatically. Soda tax, beer tax, VAT, Cap and Trade. Wake UP America.

    June 23, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. RCasson

    LOL. This is so old school. Leave it alone!

    June 23, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. WhoCares?

    "Are all of you posting aware that your taxes are going up dramatically. Soda tax, beer tax, VAT, Cap and Trade. Wake UP America"

    Did you know that the President that raise txes the most was your savior Ronald Reagan?

    Sorry..back to your hate...

    June 23, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. gary

    Everyone likes hot women.

    I think if the Republicans can find a few hot asian, hispanic and african american women to run they would take over the whole country....

    June 23, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. J.P.

    What's that? Obama's approval numbers are dropping?!

    QUICK! QUICK! Run some anti-republican story! Quick get a Palin story up! Anything! ANYTHING!!!! Just change the subject of the drip-drip-drip melting of Obama's approval numbers!

    June 23, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. Kirsten

    wow, i love how all these democrats are coming out and saying that this is how all Republicans feel. This tape was made over 20 years ago, I promise you there are Republicans that dont feel that way.

    And how would you know what the Republicans think? Seeing as how none of ya'll are Republicans. You would rather take the few nutjobs that the media portrays as the face of the Republican party, than do any of your own research.

    June 23, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. Cnn please post my thoughts! 1 love!

    Republicans have done nothing to advance Womens rights!Women are second class citizens in the republican party!

    June 23, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. top news story

    This is the first and top piece of information reported on from the Nixon tape release?

    This is the best reporting available?

    I would hope the thoughtful reader sees this as the obvious attempt to stir things up that it is.

    June 23, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. Change_Has_Begun

    such a sad thing...but i am not suprised...the GOP was always about rich old white men and will remain like that...all we can do is crush it...and the crushing has begun...

    June 23, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. cbc

    Okay, so Nixon says to find an attractive woman, and the GOP comes up the Sarah Palin?!? Maybe the word 'attractive' has different meanings, but she is the least attractive female I can imagine (and I have a pretty good imagination)!

    June 23, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. donttreadonme

    Ok if we are looking for political skeletons CNN lets post some quotes from the Anti-Segregation Dems like Strom Thurmond.

    The dems supported both slavery and segregation in their past.

    The Repubs ended both!

    June 23, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
1 2