All the President's Men

All the President's Men quotes

53 total quotes (ID: 26)

Ben Bradlee
Bob Woodward
Carl Bernstein
Harry Rosenfeld
Multiple Characters


Woodward: According to White House personnel, Hunt definitely works there as a consultant for Colson. But when I called the White House Press office, they said he hadn't worked there for three months. Then the P.R. guy said the weirdest thing to me. [reading] "I am convinced that neither Mr. Colson nor anyone else at the White House had any knowledge of, or participation in, this deplorable incident at the Democratic National Committee."
Simons: Isn't that what you'd expect them to say?
Woodward: Absolutely.
Rosenfeld: So?
Woodward: I never asked them about Watergate. I only said what were Hunt's duties at the White House. They volunteered that he was innocent when nobody asked was he guilty.


Woodward: What the hell were you doing rewriting my story?
Bernstein: I sure couldn't hurt it, could I?
Woodward: It was fine the way it was.
Bernstein: It was bullshit the way it was.
Woodward: I have to stand here and listen to the staff correspondent from Virginia?
Bernstein: What have you been here, nine months? I been in this business since I was sixteen.
Woodward: And you've had some ****ing meteoric rise, that's for sure. By the time you turn forty you might be the head of the Montana bureau.
Bernstein: You only got the job because both you and Bradlee went to Yale.
Woodward: Bradlee went to Harvard.
Bernstein: They're all the same, all those Ivy League places. They teach you about striped ties and suddenly you're smart.
Woodward: I'm smart enough to know my story was solid.
Bernstein: Mine's better.
Woodward: No way.
Bernstein: Read 'em both and you'll see.
[Woodward reads the stories]
Woodward: Crap.
Bernstein: Is mine better?
[Woodward nods]
Woodward: What is it about my writing that's so rotten?
Bernstein: Mainly it has to do with your choice of words.

Woodward: Carl?
Bernstein: Yeah?
Woodward: **** you, Carl.

Bernstein: You heard? They put us both on the break-in thing. Simons liked the way we worked together.
[Woodward nods]
Bernstein: Listen, I'm sorry I said your story was bullshit.
Woodward: It's OK; I'm sorry I called you a failure.
Bernstein: Forget it, the main thing--did you call me a failure?
Woodward: I was sure trying.

Librarian: Library.
Bernstein: Hi. Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post. I was just wondering if you remember the names of any of the books that Howard Hunt checked out on Senator Kennedy.
Librarian: I think I do remember, he took out a whole bunch of material. Let me just go see.
Bernstein: What do you think?
Woodward: Hunt doesn't seem like your ordinary consultant.
Bernstein: Maybe a political operative of some sort.
Woodward: A spy, you mean?
Bernstein: It makes sense; Hunt worked for the C.I.A. and the White House was paranoid about Teddy Kennedy.
Librarian: Mr. Bernstein?
Bernstein: Yes, ma'am.
Librarian: What I said before? I was wrong. The truth is, I don't have a card that Mr. Hunt took out any Kennedy material. I remember getting that material out for somebody, but it wasn't Mr. Hunt. The truth is, I've never had any requests at all from Mr. Hunt. [pause] The truth is, I don't know Mr. Hunt.

Deep Throat: You thought I'd help out on specifics? I'll confirm what you get, try to keep you on the right track, but that's all. Are you guys really working? [Woodward nods] How much?
Woodward: I don't know maybe sixteen, eighteen hours a day--we've got sources at Justice, the FBI, but it's still drying up.
Deep Throat: Then there must be something, mustn't there. Look, forget the myths the media's created about the White House--the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.
Woodward: If you don't like them, why won't you be more concrete with me?
Deep Throat: Because the press stinks too--history on the run, that's all you're interested in. You come up with anything?
Woodward: John Mitchell resigned as head of CREEP to spend more time with his family. That doesn't exactly have the ring of truth. Howard Hunt's been found--there was talk that his lawyer had 25 thousand in cash in a paper bag.
Deep Throat: Follow the money. Always follow the money.
Woodward: What do you mean? Where?
Deep Throat: Oh, I can't tell you that.
Woodward: But you could tell me that.
Deep Throat: No, I have to do this my way. You tell me what you know, and I'll confirm. I'll keep you in the right direction if I can, but that's all. Just... follow the money.

Woodward: This man Gordon Liddy--he's going to be tried along with Hunt and the five burglars--we know he knows a lot, we just don't know what.
Deep Throat: You changed cabs? You're sure no one followed you?
Woodward: I did everything you said, but it all seemed--
Deep Throat: Melodramatic? Things are past that--remember, these are men with switchblade mentalities who run the world as if it were Dodge City.
Woodward: What's the whole thing about--do you know?
Deep Throat: What I know, you'll have to find out on your own.
Woodward: Liddy--you think there's a chance he'll talk?
Deep Throat: Talk? Once, at a gathering, he put his hand over a candle. And he kept it there. He kept it right in the flame until his flesh seared. A woman who was watching asked, "What's the trick?" And he replied. "The trick is not minding."

Woodward: This should take only a minute, Mr. Dahlberg, but we're doing a follow-up on the break-in...and I was kind of curious about your check.
Dahlberg: Check?
Woodward: The twenty-five thousand dollar one....The one with your name on it...In Bernard Barker's Florida account...Bernard Barker, the Watergate burglar.
Dahlberg: You're definitely doing a story?
Woodward: Yes, sir.
Dahlberg: I'm a proper citizen, I'm a decent man, I don't do anything that isn't decent or proper. [pause] I know I shouldn't tell you this...That twenty-five thousand dollars is money I collected for Nixon in this year's campaign.
Woodward: I see. And how do you think it reached Miami?
dahlberg: I don't know; I really don't. The last time I saw it was when I was in Washington. I gave it to the Finance department of the Committee to Re-Elect the President. How it got to that burglar, your guess is as good as mine.

National editor: Let me tell what happened when I was having lunch today at the Sans Souci.
Rosenfeld: Correction--when you were drinking your lunch at the bar of the Sans Souci.
National editor: This White House guy, a good one, a pro, came up and asked what is this Watergate compulsion with you guys and I said, well, we think it's important and he said, if it's so goddamn important, who the hell are Woodward and Bernstein?
Rosenfeld: Ask him what he's really saying--he means take the story away from Woodstein and give it to his people at the National Desk.
National editor: Well, I've got some pretty experienced fellas sitting around, wouldn't you say so?
Rosenfeld: Absolutely--and that's all they do, sit sit sit--every once in a while, they call up a Senator, some reporting.
National editor: Well, what if your boys get it wrong?
Bradlee: Then it's our asses, isn't it?
Simons: And we'll all have to go to work for a living.

Foreign editor: I don't think either Metropolitan or National should cover the story. I don't think we should cover the story, period.
Bradlee: Go on.
Foreign editor: It's not that we're using unnamed sources that bothers me, or that everything we print the White House denies, or that almost no other papers are reprinting our stuff.
Simons: What then?
Foreign editor: I don't believe the goddamn story, Howard, it doesn't make sense.
Bradlee: It will, it just hasn't bottomed out yet, give it time.
Foreign editor: Ben, Jesus, there are over two thousand reporters in this town, are there five on Watergate? Where did we suddenly get all this wisdom?

Bernstein: This is practically a high school reunion for us, Jane--I would have sprung for a classier place.
Jane: Anyplace really public, they'd know about it--they know everything at the Committee, Carl.
Bernstein: You don't really think you're being followed?
Jane: This girlfriend of mine at the Committee, the other day she went back to the D.A. to tell the things the FBI didn't ask her. That night, her boss, he knew what she'd done. They control everything; that's how they know it all.
Bernstein: FBI too?
Jane: You don't believe me? Well, I was working the weekend of the break-in and my God, all the executives were running around like crazy--you had to practically wait in line to use the shredding machine--and when the FBI came to investigate, they never even asked me about it.
Bernstein: If you don't like it down there, why don't you quit?
Jane: I don't know what they'd do to me.
Bernstein: Hey, easy...
Jane: We're a long way from high school, Carl, and I'm scared.
...
Jane: They found out I saw you. They wanted to know everything. Don't call me again.
Bernstein: I can help if you'll...
Jane: Stay away from me, Carl!

Woodward: A friend at the Committee told us to contact you.
Woman: Who was it?
Bernstein: We never reveal our sources, which is why you can talk to us.
Woodward: It's safe, try it, you'll see.
Bernstein: We understand your problem...
Woodward: You believe in the President, you wouldn't ever want to do anything disloyal.
Bernstein: We appreciate your position--really.
Woman: You people--you think that you can come into someone's life, squeeze what you want, then get out. [to Bernstein] You don't appreciate a goddamn thing, mister. [to Woodward] And you don't understand nothing. But the Committee's briefed us on you--so get the hell out of here. Do you like scaring the life out of decent people?--'cause if you don't, in the name of God--stop it!

Man: I know who you are and I'm not afraid but that don't mean I'll talk to you either--you're just a couple Democrats out to stop Nixon getting re-elected.
Woodward: Democrats?
Man: That's right.
Bernstein: I hate both parties.
Woodward: And I'm a Republican.
Bernstein: Republican?
Woodward: Sure.
Bernstein: Who'd you vote for?
Woodward: When?
Bernstein: '68.
Woodward: Nixon.

Nixon: [on television] No one in this administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident. What really hurts in matters of this sort is not the fact that they occur, because overzealous people in campaigns do things that are wrong. What really hurts is if you try to cover it up.
Woodward: Did he just say what I think he said?
Bernstein: You voted for him.

Bernstein: I want you to know that I understand why you're afraid--a lot of good people down there at the Committee are afraid. I'm really sorry for what you're being put through.
Bookkeeper: All those articles you people write--where do you find that stuff?
Bernstein: We don't tell anyone that. Which is why you can talk to us. And if we can't verify what you say someplace else, we don't print it. That's another reason you can relax.
Bookkeeper: I'm relaxed--light your cigarette.
Bernstein: You were Hugh Sloan's bookkeeper when he worked for Maurice Stans at Finance, and we were sort of wondering, did you go work for Stans immediately after Sloan quit or was there a time lapse?
Bookkeeper: I never worked for Sloan or Stans.
Bookkeeper's sister: Would you like some coffee or anything?
Bernstein: Please, yes, thank you. Can I sit down for a minute?
Bookkeeper: One minute but then--
Bernstein: Right, right, I've got to go. Why did you lie just then? I was just curious--you don't do it well, so I wondered. Have you been threatened, if you told the truth, is that it?
Bookkeeper: No... never in so many words...
Bernstein: It's obvious you want to talk to someone--well, I'm someone.