Richard Nixon photo

Remarks Following a Visit With General Eisenhower

February 02, 1969

THE PRESIDENT. Gentlemen, this is the longest conversation I have had with General Eisenhower since his heart attack.

I was very impressed by how well he looked. He was sitting up, as the photographs indicate. This was the first time he has been photographed since that time, at least when I have been present.

What we primarily discussed were the problems of NATO, the European alliance, and the problems of the Middle East. As usual--and I would say even more than usual--I was impressed by General Eisenhower's great understanding of this area of the world, of the personalities involved, and also of the great forces that are involved there.

As we now enter a period when we are reexamining our policies in Europe and also reexamining our policies in the Mideast, I am trying to talk to as many people who are experienced in these areas as I can.

General Eisenhower gave us some excellent advice--Dr. Kissinger was with me-- some excellent advice and also some comments on the policy decisions that we are to make in the very near future in both areas.

Q. How did he refer to you, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. He said, "Mr. President," and I was a little embarrassed, frankly.

Finally, I was trying to think how the semantics went. He said, "Well, Mr. President, I am glad to see you." I was a little embarrassed. Then I started to refer to him as "General," but when the conversation became quite animated, as it did during a discussion of the European situation and its relationship to the Mideast, I slipped almost automatically into "Mr. President" again, and he smiled.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.


Note: The President spoke with reporters at 6 p.m. at Walter Reed Army Medical Center following a 50-minute visit with General Eisenhower in his hospital suite.

Richard Nixon, Remarks Following a Visit With General Eisenhower Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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