Richard Nixon on Crime

President of the U.S., 1968-1974


1970s: Spike in crime followed initiation of War on Drugs

It was December 5, 1933. Another positive post-prohibition development, which might have seemed counterintuitive before the passage of the 18th Amendment, was the significant decline in murder rates following its repeal.

Violent crime skyrocketed during Prohibition. With the outrageous profits provided by the black market, with a number of unregulated outlaw criminal syndicates battling to control their share of it, and without access to the courts to resolve business disputes, homicide became a fundamental aspect of commercial success for Prohibition's criminal entrepreneurs.

From 1920 to 1933, America endured a horrific crime wave that ended only after Prohibition was repealed. The only other similar sustained spike in violent crime in the 20th century came immediately after Nixon's declared "War on Drugs" from 1970 to 1990.

Source: Dealing Death and Drugs, by Beto O'Rourke, p. 78-9 , Nov 29, 2011

Survived 1958 mob riot as VP in Venezuela

When Nixon was vice president, local police disappeared as an angry mob descended on Nixon and his wife, Pat, at the Caracas, Venezuela, airport on May 13, 1958. One of the Secret Service agents said, "We noticed the police started to leave the motorcade They were afraid of the mob, and so the police deserted their security arrangements." As stones and bottles were being thrown at the couple, agents formed a tight ring around them and quickly escorted them into the president's bulletproof limousine.

Along the route to the American embassy, protestors had erected a roadblock. Wielding clubs and pipes, a crowd swarmed the car. "They had firebombs, and they were bent on killing everybody in the party," an agent says. The crowd tried to pry open the doors and then began to rock the limo and try to set it on fire. The agents managed to get Nixon safely to the American embassy, where more angry insurgents confronted them. President Eisenhower sent the Sixth Fleet out to evacuate the embassy.

Source: In the President`s Secret Service, by Ron Kessler, p. 82-83 , Jun 29, 2009

1968: Started "law-&-order" plank to gain Southern Whites

From the civil rights struggles of the 1960s forward to this day, the Southern White Man has been deeply resentful. And what the Republican Party has done, starting with Nixon in 1968, was pander to this resentment masterfully.

Sure, it was couched in other language. Nixon's law-and-order plank, for instance, technically was race neutral. But everyone in the South just knew that it was blacks who were committing most of the crimes. They understood what Nixon was getting at. If they wanted someone to stand up to those rioters making crazy demands, and those hippies egging them on, then Republican Richard Nixon was their man, not an unrecognized Minnesota liberal like Hubert Humphrey.

Source: America's Next Bush, by S.V. Date, p.103 , Feb 15, 2007

Declare and win the war against crime

We have heard a great deal of overblown rhetoric during the 60s in which the word "war" has perhaps too often been used--the war on poverty, the war on disease, the war on hunger. But if there is one area where the word "war" is appropriate it is in the fight against crime. We must declare and win the war against the criminal elements which increasingly threaten our cities, our homes, and our lives.

Last year this administration sent to the Congress 13 separate pieces of legislation dealing with organized crime, pornography, street crime, & narcotics. None of these bills has reached my desk for signature. We in the Executive have done everything we can under existing law, but new and stronger weapons are needed in that fight.

While State and local law enforcement agencies are the cutting edge in the effort to eliminate crime, the Federal Government should play a greater role. That is why 1971 Federal spending for local law enforcement will double that budgeted for 1970.

Source: Pres. Nixon's 1970 State of the Union message to Congress , Jan 22, 1970

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Crime.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Richard Nixon.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Richard Nixon.
Other past presidents on Crime: Richard Nixon on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Past Vice Presidents:
V.P.Joseph Biden
V.P.Dick Cheney
V.P.Al Gore
V.P.Dan Quayle
Sen.Bob Dole

Political Parties:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Libertarian Party
Green Party
Reform Party
Natural Law Party
Tea Party
Constitution Party
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022