During his "state of the world" broadcast in Washington on Wednesday (February 9), President Nixon said he was willing to take criticism from his democratic opponents over the Vietnam war -- but he warned them to be careful in case they gave the communists an incentive to keep on fighting.
GV EXT White House
MV ZOOM TO CU Nixon speaking
SOF STARTS:"Let me turn now....."
SOF ENDS: "... destroy that trust."
PRESIDENT NIXON: "Let me turn now to Vietnam. This has been America's longest and most difficult war. It began long before I became President. And I have been doing everything I can honourably do to end it. I have brought almost one-half-million men home from Vietnam. As high as 300 a week were being killed in action when I took office. This week there were two. We have reduced air sorties; budget costs; and draft calls. We have made the most generous peace offer in the history of warfare. I have no complaint over the fact that during this period when I had been ending a war I did not begin I have been subjected to vigorous criticism. And I do not question the patriotism or the sincerity of those who disagree with my policies to bring peace. But as I said in 1968, when I was a candidate for President, we have only one President at a time. And only the President can negotiate an end to the war. There should always be free debate and criticism, so that our policy will represent the best thinking of our nation. But a candidate for President has a higher responsibility than the ordinary critic. A candidate should make any criticism he believes would contribute to bringing an honourable peace. But I would hope that anyone seeking the Presidency would examine his statements carefully to be sure that nothing he says might give the enemy an incentive to prolong the war till after the election. Trust in the United States among the 45 nation with which we have treaty commitments is essential if peace and freedom are to be preserved in the world. Let us end our involvement in the war in Vietnam in a way which will not destroy that trust."
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Background: During his "state of the world" broadcast in Washington on Wednesday (February 9), President Nixon said he was willing to take criticism from his democratic opponents over the Vietnam war -- but he warned them to be careful in case they gave the communists an incentive to keep on fighting.
The portion of his message shown in this film was the only part of the speech which the President would allow to be filmed -- as the message was primarily for radio.
SYNOPSIS: In Washington on Wednesday, President Nixon of the United States criticised Vietnam war critics -- warning them not to give the communists an incentive to go on fighting.