Here is the full transcript of Richard Nixon’s Resignation Speech on August 8, 1974.
President Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974 amid the Watergate scandal. In his resignation speech, Nixon expressed hope for healing in America and pledged to continue his work for peace and justice.
Listen to the audio version here:
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 will require.