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


Judge: Will you please state your professions.
Barker: Anti-communists.
Judge: Anti-communists? That, sir, is not your average profession. Your name, please.
McCord: James McCord.
Judge: Will you step forward, sir? And what is your occupation, Mr. McCord?
McCord: Security consultant.
Judge: Where?
McCord: Government, uh, recently, uh, retired.
Judge: Where in the government?
McCord: Central Intelligence Agency.
Judge: Where?
McCord: The C.I.A.
Woodward: Holy shit.


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.

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?

[to Wodward] I can't sell hints to Simons-- you called everyone you know? Call someone you don't know.

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!

Hunt: Howard Hunt here.
Woodward: Hi, I'm Bob Woodward of the Post and--
Hunt: Yes, yes, what is it?
Woodward: I was just kind of wondering why your name and phone number were in the address books of two of the men arrested at Watergate?
Hunt: Good God!

Sloan: Try and understand this. I'm a decent Republican. I believe in Richard Nixon. I worked in the White House four years--so did my wife. What happened on June 17 I don't think the President knew anything about. Some of his men I'm not so sure of.
Bernstein: Do you think the truth will come out at the trial?
Sloan: That's another of the things I'm not so sure of.
Bernstein: Because people at the Committee were told to lie to the prosecutors?
Sloan: We were never told flat out "Don't talk." But the message was clear.
Bernstein: To cover up?
Sloan: Well, they sure didn't ask us to come forward and tell the truth.
Woodward: Does "they" mean the White House?
Sloan: As opposed to the Committee? The Committee's not an independent operation. Everything is cleared with the White House. I don't think that the FBI or the prosecutors understand that.

Rosenfeld: Where's that cheery face we've come to know and love?
Woodward: You call me in on my day off because some idiots have broken into local Democratic Headquarters--tell me, Harry, why should I be smiling?
Rosenfeld: As usual, that keen mind of yours has pegged the situation perfectly. Except (a) it wasn't local Democratic Headquarters, it was National Democratic Headquarters--and (b) these weren't just any idiots, these were special idiots, seeing as when they were arrested at 2:30 this morning, they were all wearing business suits and Playtex gloves and were carrying--a walkie-talkie, forty rolls of film, cameras, lock picks, pen-sized tear gas guns, plus various bugging devices. Not to mention over two thousand dollars, mostly in sequenced hundred dollar bills.

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."

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.

[to Martin Dardis] Look, you've been jerking my chain all day. If there's some reason you can't talk to me--like the fact that you've already leaked everything to The New York Times--just say so.

It's like they taught us at Harvard: few things are as gratifying to the soul as having another man's nuts in a vise.

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.

Now hold it, hold it. We're about to accuse Mr. Haldeman, who only happens to be the second most important man in America, of conducting a criminal conspiracy from inside the White House. It would be nice if we were right.