Here is the video clip of Nixon's televised Resignation
Speech. Find text transcript below.
It follows the full text transcript of
Richard Nixon's Resignation Speech, delivered at
Washington D.C. - August 8, 1974.
This is the 37th
time I have spoken to you from this office,
where so many decisions have been made that
shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I
have done so to discuss with you some matter
that I believe affected the national interest.
In all the decisions I have made in my public
life, I have always tried to do what was best
for the Nation. Throughout the long and
difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it
was my duty to persevere, to make every possible
effort to complete the term of office to which
you elected me.
In the past few days, however, it has become
evident to me that I no longer have a strong
enough political base in the Congress to justify
continuing that effort. As long as there was
such a base, I felt strongly that it was
necessary to see the constitutional process
through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise
would be unfaithful to the spirit of that
deliberately difficult process and a dangerously
destabilizing precedent for the future.
But with the disappearance of that base, I now
believe that the constitutional purpose has been
served, and there is no longer a need for the
process to be prolonged.
I would have preferred to carry through to the
finish whatever the personal agony it would have
involved, and my family unanimously urged me to
do so. But the interests of the Nation must
always come before any personal considerations.
From the discussions I have had with
Congressional and other leaders, I have
concluded that because of the Watergate matter I
might not have the support of the Congress that
I would consider necessary to back the very
difficult decisions and carry out the duties of
this office in the way the interests of the
Nation would require.
I have never been a quitter. To leave office
before my term is completed is abhorrent to
every instinct in my body. But as President, I
must put the interest of America first. America
needs a full-time President and a full-time
Congress, particularly at this time with
problems we face at home and abroad.
To continue to fight through the months ahead
for my personal vindication would almost totally
absorb the time and attention of both the
President and the Congress in a period when our
entire focus should be on the great issues of
peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at
Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency
effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford
will be sworn in as President at that hour in
As I recall the high hopes for America with
which we began this second term, I feel a great
sadness that I will not be here in this office
working on your behalf to achieve those hopes in
the next 2 1/2 years. But in turning over
direction of the Government to Vice President
Ford, I know, as I told the Nation when I
nominated him for that office 10 months ago,
that the leadership of America will be in good
In passing this office to the Vice President, I
also do so with the profound sense of the weight