Lungren: President Ford a 'man's man' for visiting ill Nixon after pardon

Ford was then persuaded to call Nixon's wife to see if the visit would be allowed, and Pat Nixon called Lungren's father. "My dad said it might be the best thing for his health that could happen," Lungren said.

"My dad called me up after that was over and said this was a wonderful visit," Lungren said. "It will help the health of President Nixon. And then he said to me this -- probably politically incorrect to say today -- but my dad said, 'That president Ford, he's a real man's man.'

"What he meant by that was he was a genuine person, who, irrespective of the political consequences, decided to go forward with what most people wold consider to be a genuine act of friendship," Lungren added.

Lungren relayed that story on the House floor as members debated a resolution allowing for the acceptance and display of a statue of President Ford in the Capitol. The House is expected to vote on the resolution some time after 6:30 p.m. Monday, which will send it to the Senate.