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


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.


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.

I lived here all my life, I got a million contacts, but they're all bus boys and bellhops.

The head of security for the reelection of a Republican President got caught bugging the national offices of the Democrats? What the hell does that mean?

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.

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

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?

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

[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.

CREEP financed the Watergate break-in, Jesus Christ.