In July 1959, Nixon was sent by President Eisenhower to Moscow for the opening of the American National Exhibition. On July 24, while touring the exhibits with Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, Nixon stopped at a model of an American kitchen and engaged Khrushchev in an impromptu debate. In a friendly yet determined way, both men argued the merits of capitalism and communism, respectively, as it affected the average American and Soviet housewife. While the exchange (later dubbed the "Kitchen Debate") had little bearing on the U.S./Soviet rivalry, Nixon gained popularity for standing up to the "Soviet bully," as Khrushchev was sometimes characterized, and greatly improved his chances for receiving the Republican presidential nomination in 1960.
Richard Nixon launched his bid for the presidency in early 1960, facing little opposition in the Republican primaries. His democratic opponent was Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy. Nixon campaigned on his experience, but Kennedy brought a new vitality to the election and called for a new generation of leadership, criticizing the Eisenhower administration for endangering U.S. national security. Besides defending the administration during the campaign, Nixon advocated for a series of selective tax cuts that would become a core doctrine of Republican economic policy going forward.
He also made the Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP), which collected $60 million, violating campaign laws, and funded tapping the phone of the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Nixon did not need this help to get reelected in 1972, as he faced a split Democratic party.
The IRS also said that Nixon owed more than $400,000 in back taxes, and critics pointed out that Nixon’s administration had raised subsidies to milk producers, who donated over a half-million dollars to the Republican party.
The final blow came when Nixon's involvement in the plumbers' Watergate burglary was revealed by investigative reporters.
During the campaign in June 1972, rumors began to circulate about White House involvement in a seemingly isolated burglary of the Democratic National Election Headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Initially, Nixon downplayed the coverage of the scandal as politics as usual, but by 1973, the investigation (initiated by two cub reporters for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein) had mushroomed into a full-scale inquest. White House officials denied the press's reporting as biased and misleading, but the FBI eventually confirmed that Nixon aids had attempted to sabotage the Democrats during the election, and many resigned in the face of criminal prosecution.
RESOLVED, That Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, isimpeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articlesof impeachment to be exhibited to the Senate:
- The Watergate Scandal research papers discuss the pattern of corruption and illegal activity within the Nixon White House during the 20th century.
Although Nixon initially thought that the speech had failed, the public responded to what became known as the "Checkers Speech." Nonetheless, the experience embedded a deep distrust of mainstream media in Nixon, who would one day be at the receiving end of much worse from reporters. The Checkers Speech aside, the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket defeated the Democratic candidates, Adlai E. Stevenson and John Sparkman, and Richard Nixon avoided a full-on political disaster.
ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OFTHE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN THE NAME OF ITSELF AND OF ALL OF THE PEOPLEOF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AGAINST RICHARD M. NIXON, PRESIDENT OFTHE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT OF ITS IMPEACHMENTAGAINST HIM FOR HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANOURS.
To avoid handing over all of the 42 subpoenaed tapes to the House JudiciaryCommittee, Nixon instead 1,254 pages of edited transcripts of 20 tapes in the spring of 1974. Butthe transcripts caused a national sensation as Americans glimpsed behindclosed doors for the first time at a cynical Nixon who frequently usedobscene language in the Oval Office, in contrast to his carefully tailoredpublic image. The transcripts also revealed Nixon frequently discussingWatergate including the raising of "hush money" to keep the burglarsquiet.
On August 5, 1974, the long sought after audio tapes provided the "smoking gun" which revealed President Nixon had been deeply involved in the coverup and had ordered Haldeman to halt the FBI investigation just six days after the Watergate break-in.
Richard Nixon's fervent anti-Communist reputation earned him the notice of Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Republican Party, who believed he could draw valuable support in the West. And at the Republican convention in 1952, Nixon won the nomination as vice president. Two months before the November election, the New York Post reported that Nixon had a secret "slush fund" provided by campaign donors for his personal use, and some within Eisenhower's campaign called for removing Nixon from the ticket.
Richard Nixon had served a total of 2,026 days as the 37th Presidentof the United States. He left office with 2 1/2 years of his second termremaining. A total of 25 officials from his administration, including fourcabinet members, were eventually convicted and imprisoned for various crimes.
In November 1960, Richard Nixon narrowly lost the presidential election, by only 120,000 votes. The Electoral College showed a wider victory for Kennedy, who received 303 votes to Nixon's 219. Though there were some charges of voter fraud in Texas and Illinois and legal papers were filed, subsequent court rulings showed that Kennedy had a greater number of electoral votes even after recounts. Not wanting to cause a Constitutional crisis, Nixon halted further investigations, later receiving praise for his dignity and professionalism in the face of defeat and suspicion that possible voter fraud had cost him the presidency.