07/25/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Nixon's Preference for Aborting Mixed Race Babies Hits Hard in the Age of Obama

It was January, 1973, and the U.S. Supreme Court had just ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion was not a crime. According the New York Times, Nixon made no public statement.

Privately he told Charles Colson, with whom he was chatting in the Oval Office; their conversation picked up by the infamous secret microphones:

"There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white," he told Colson. It was Colson who added the words, "or rape," with which Nixon readily agreed.

So there's Nixon in audio tapes from January and February 1973--released Tuesday by the Nixon Presidential Library--showing "ambivalence" about abortion--except for miscegenation or rape. Colson and Nixon seem to equate the two.

While Nixon was expressing an opinion that was probably widespread at the time, an 11-year-old boy named Barack Obama, whose mother was white and whose father was black, was growing up, raised mostly by his white grandparents.

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