All the President’s Men (1976) quotes

Director
Alan J. Pakula.

Cast
Dustin Hoffman.
Robert Redford.
Jack Warden.

“The Washington Post” reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

You know the results of the latest Gallup Poll? Half the country never even heard of the word Watergate. Nobody gives a shit. You guys are probably pretty tired, right? Well, you should be. Go on home, get a nice hot bath. Rest up… 15 minutes. Then get your asses back in gear. We’re under a lot of pressure, you know, and you put us there. Nothing’s riding on this except the, uh, first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys fuck up again, I’m going to get mad. Goodnight.
– Ben Bradlee

All non-denial denials. They doubt our ancestry, but they don’t say the story isn’t accurate.
– Ben Bradlee

Excuse me, what is your name? I’m Bob Woodward, of the Washington Post.
– Bob Woodward
Markham.
– Markham
Markham. Mr. Markham, are you here in connection with the Watergate burglary?
– Bob Woodward
I’m not here.
– Markham

Well, who is Charles Colson?
– Bob Woodward
The most powerful man in the United States is President Nixon. You’ve heard of him? Charles Colson is special counsel to the President. There’s a cartoon on his wall. The caption reads, “When you’ve got ’em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”
– Harry Rosenfeld

Is there any place you *don’t* smoke?
– Bob Woodward

You let Haldeman slip away.
– Deep Throat
Yes.
– Bob Woodward
You’ve done worse than let Haldeman slip away: you’ve got people feeling sorry for him. I didn’t think that was possible. In a conspiracy like this, you build from the outer edges and go step by step. If you shoot too high and miss, everybody feels more secure. You’ve put the investigation back months.
– Deep Throat
Yes, we know that. And if we’re wrong, we’re resigning. Were we wrong?
– Bob Woodward

Bob, listen, I think I’ve got something, I don’t know what it is. But somewhere in this world there is a Kenneth H. Dahlberg, and we gotta get to him before the New York Times does, because I think they’ve got the same information.
– Carl Bernstein

Woodward. Bernstein. You’re both on the story. Now don’t fuck it up.
– Harry Rosenfeld

It’s a dangerous story for this paper.
– Scott, Foreign Editor
How dangerous?
– Ben Bradlee
Well, it’s not that we’re using nameless sources that bothers me. Or that everything we print, the White House denies. Or that no other papers are reprinting our stuff.
– Scott, Foreign Editor
What then?
– Howard Simons
Look, there are two thousand reporters in this town, are there five on Watergate? When did the Washington Post suddenly get the monopoly on wisdom? Why would the Republicans do it? McGovern’s self-destructed just like Humphrey, Muskie, the bunch of them. I don’t believe this story. It doesn’t make sense.
– Scott, Foreign Editor

There’s a strange entry in two of the burglars’ address books.
– Bachinski
Yeh?
– Bob Woodward
One says “H.H. at W.H.”; the other says “Howard Hunt, W. House”.
– Bachinski

Boy, that woman was paranoid! At one point I – I suddenly wondered how high up this thing goes, and her paranoia finally got to me, and I thought what we had was so hot that any minute CBS or NBC were going to come in through the windows and take the story away.
– Carl Bernstein
You’re both paranoid. She’s afraid of John Mitchell, and you’re afraid of Walter Cronkite.
– Bob Woodward

Look, McGovern’s dropped to nothing, Nixon’s guaranteed the renomination, the Post is stuck with a story no one else wants, it’ll sink the goddamn paper. Everyone says, “Get off it, Ben”, and I come on very sage and I say, uh, “Well, you’ll see, you wait till this bottoms out.” But the truth is, I can’t figure out WHAT we’ve got.
– Ben Bradlee

Then can we use their names?
– Howard Simons
No.
– Carl Bernstein
Goddammit, when is somebody going to go on the record in this story? You guys are about to write a story that says the former Attorney General, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in this country, is a crook! Just be sure you’re right.
– Ben Bradlee

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

Where’s the goddamn story?
– Ben Bradlee
The money’s the key to whatever this is.
– Bob Woodward
Says who?
– Ben Bradlee
Deep Throat.
– Howard Simons
Who?
– Ben Bradlee
Oh, that’s Woodward’s garage freak; his source in the executive department.
– Howard Simons
Garage Freak? Jesus, what kind of a crazy fucking story is this? Who did you say?
– Ben Bradlee
He’s on deep background, I call him deep… throat.
– Howard Simons

You’ll have to figure that on your own.
– Deep Throat
Look, I’m tired of your chickenshit games! I don’t want hints! I need to know what you know!
– Bob Woodward
It was a Haldeman operation. The whole business was run by Haldeman, the money, everything. It won’t be easy getting at him, he was insulated, you’ll have to find out how. Mitchell started doing covert stuff before anyone else, the list is longer than anyone can imagine… it involves the entire U.S. Intelligence Community. FBI… CIA… Justice… it’s incredible. Cover-up had little to do with Watergate, it was mainly to protect the covert operations. It leads everywhere. Get out your notebook, there’s more. Your lives are in danger.
– Deep Throat

All these checks from Mexico?
– Carl Bernstein
See?
– Dardis
How come? Did the money originate there?
– Carl Bernstein
Well, I doubt it started off as pesos.
– Dardis

Preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.
– Warren Burger
Preserve and protect and defend the constitution of the United States.
– Richard Nixon
So help you God.
– Warren Burger
So help me God.
– Richard Nixon

Please, listen, now, if you’re going to refer to that alleged conversation with Sally Aiken, you can’t print that it took place in her apartment. I have a wife and a family and a dog and a cat.
– Ken Clawson
A wife and a family and a dog and a cat. Right, Ken, right, yeah. Uh, Ken, I don’t want to print that you were in Sally’s apartment…
– Ben Bradlee
Thank God.
– Ken Clawson
I just want to know what you said, in Sally’s apartment.
– Ben Bradlee

Did you call the White House press office?
– Howard Simons
I went over there; I talked to them. They said Hunt hadn’t worked there for three months. Then a PR guy said this weird thing to me. He said, “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.”
– Bob Woodward
Isn’t that what you expect them to say?
– Howard Simons
Absolutely.
– Bob Woodward
So?
– Howard Simons
I never asked about Watergate. I simply asked what were Hunt’s duties at the White House. They volunteered he was innocent when nobody asked if he was guilty.
– Bob Woodward
Be careful how you write it.
– Howard Simons

If you’re gonna do it, do it right. If you’re gonna hype it, hype it with the facts. I don’t mind what you did. I mind the way you did it.
– Bob Woodward

Who’s Charles Colson?
– Bob Woodward
Sit down. You know I’m glad you asked me that question. The reason I’m glad you asked me is because if you had asked Simons or Bradlee they woulda said, “You know we’re gonna have to fire this schmuck at once because he’s so *dumb*.”
– Harry Rosenfeld