Cronkite Remembers (1997– )
Host: [about the Presidents that he met] They were all giant egos, anxious about their place in history.
Host: [about President Truman] Truman never shucked the image of a country boy in the big city. But in his self-confident righteousness, he impressed you with the courage of a lion.
Host: [about announcing President Kennedy's death] At that moment I teared up, I choked, I just had a little trouble getting the words out.
Host: [Looking back at the 20th Century] I had a pretty good seat at the parade. I was lucky enough to have been born at the right time to see most of this remarkable century.
Host: [about George Bush, Sr] I like George Bush, he seemed to be a straight arrow, the sort you'd like to have as your lawyer or your banker or as a friend. And of course, he had Barbara.
Host: [about President Clinton] Clinton, I've not come to know that well, but in my one sit-down interview with him, I found him forthcoming and humorous.
Host: [about President Johnson] It has been said, and truthfully so, that Lyndon Johnson was larger than life. You felt in his presence that here was raw power capable of lifting great weights and crushing enemies.
Host: [about President Nixon] Nixon, to me, never seemed comfortable in the Presidency. He always seemed to be acting out a rehearsed role. I thought I could see his knees knocking with stage fright.
Host: [about President Ford] Ford was the genuine good fellow well met. He was the guy you wish you had known in college.
Host: [about President Carter] Carter, I think, was the brainiest President of my time, not in political ability but intelligence that could store and recall an incredible amount of complicated material.
Host: [about President Reagan] In Reagan, what you saw was what you got. Without surrendering the dignity of the office he maintained that hail-fellow comradeship of the locker room. He was fun to be with, shady stories and all.
Host: [about President Hoover] Herbert Hoover seemed to me about as stiff in person as he was in public. A highly intelligent man, dedicated to public service who just couldn't connect with the average man.
Host: [about FDR] With his radio talks and his fireside chats he brought all Americans into the White House. At the times I saw him, at his informal news conferences, he could be tough with questioning reporters but he usually ended the exchange with a wide grin or with a hearty laugh. He seemed to say, in the manner of a sporting man, 'Well tried, sir'
Host: [about President Eisenhower] Eisenhower made political enemies of course but he never lost the aura of the war hero. In doing his memoirs for television with me, he revealed a great deal more detailed knowledge of the arcane decisions of his administration than the press generally gave him credit for.
Host: [about President Kennedy] Kennedy could be as charming in public as he had been in private. But he had another side, a certain attitude of superiority, an arrogance that I found disturbing.
Host: [about Oliver Stone's "JFK"] Stone combines real and fictional footage in a very clever way that completely obliterates the truth. He uses my announcement of the President's death to provide an air of reality that he avoids for the rest of the picture. His preposterous theory is that top echelons of the United States government committed the Kennedy murder in order to put Lyndon Johnson in the White House. That work of fiction is dangerous, it seriously misleads a whole generation of Americans who were not alive at that time.
Host: [the day President Harding died] The front page of The Kansas City Times had a big picture of President Harding with a black border around it. So I ran down the street to my best friend's house and I said 'Alfred, take a look because that's the last picture you'll ever see of President Harding'. I don't know where I got that crazy idea but it proved early in life that I could pontificate even when wrong.
Host: I only met Martin Luther King on a few occasions but I was always struck by the obvious force, the power of his character which is clearly what the Civil Rights movement needed at that point.
Host: I got along pretty well with Nixon. Whenever he promised me an interview he delivered and I didn't make his famed "Enemies List". I'm still sort of ambivalent about that.