Biggest Error Was Not Bombing N. Vietnam Sooner, Nixon Says

Associated Press

Former President Richard M. Nixon said in an interview Saturday that his biggest mistake in office was in not bombing and mining North Vietnam sooner.

“I would say the major mistake I made as President . . . --this will surprise you--was not doing early in 1969 what I did on May 3 of 1972 and on Dec. 15 of 1972, and that was to bomb and mine North Vietnam,” Nixon said in an interview taped for today’s “Meet the Press” program on NBC.

“I wanted to do it, I talked to (former Secretary of State) Henry Kissinger about it, but we were stuck with the bombing halt that we had inherited from the Johnson Administration, with Paris peace talks,” he said.

“But if we had done that then, I think we would have ended the war in Vietnam in 1969 rather than in 1973,” Nixon said in a segment of the interview shown on NBC News on Saturday. “That was my biggest mistake as President.”