John Hinckley Jr. Says Reagan Was ‘A Good President,’ Is Glad Assassination Attempt ‘Did Not Succeed’

"I have true remorse for what I did."
CBS News

John Hinckley Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan more than four decades ago, said Tuesday in his first televised interview that he has “remorse” for what he did and is glad his attempt to kill Reagan “did not succeed.”

Hinckley attempted to assassinate Reagan on March 30, 1981, and later claimed he did so to gain the attention of actress Jodie Foster, The Daily Wire reported. A bullet ricocheted off the presidential limousine and struck Reagan about an inch from his heart. Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and policeman Thomas Delahanty were injured in the shooting, too; Brady lived partially paralyzed from the attack, until he later died.

“I feel terrible for what I did, and I’ve had remorse for many years for what I did, and if I could take it all back, I would,” Hinckley told CBS Mornings. “I swear, I would take it all back.”

Reagan was “a nice man and a good president,” he added.

Hinckley said he would like forgiveness from the Reagan family and the families of the others he injured, though he doesn’t expect to receive it. “They probably can’t, but I wish they would,” he said.

“I have true remorse for what I did. I know they probably can’t forgive me now, but I just want them to know that I am sorry for what I did,” he continued. “I’m glad I did not succeed.”

“I did not have a good heart. I was doing things that a good person does not do,” Hinckley said.

CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett said Hinckley told him he takes two psychotropic pills per day, after CBS host Gayle King noted the near-assassin “seemed heavily medicated” during the interview.

“I’ve been the most scrutinized person in the entire mental health system for 41 years,” Hinckley told Garrett.

The 67-year-old allegedly tried to kill himself on two occasions while in psychiatric care. “One was a hanging, and one was an overdose of pills,” Hinckley said.

His release is “justice,” Hinckley claimed. “I was not just a cold, calculating criminal in 1981,” but mentally ill.

“Psychologically, that person is dead,” he said. “I’m a completely different person in mind and spirit.”

Hinckley’s conditioned release started in 2016, and restrictions have since been removed. The Daily Wire noted on June 15, 2022, when Hinckley began his unconditional release, he posted on Twitter, “After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FREEDOM AT LAST!!!”


Ashe Schow contributed to this report 

Related: ‘Not Worth A Gamble’: NYC Music Venue Cancels Performance By John Hinckley Jr., The Man Who Tried To Assassinate Reagan

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  John Hinckley Jr. Says Reagan Was ‘A Good President,’ Is Glad Assassination Attempt ‘Did Not Succeed’