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Reagan Advisers Weinberger and Nofziger Die

FRANKLYN NOFZIGER: The president has been shot once in the left chest. The bullet entered from his left side. He is in stable condition...

: Lyn Nofziger was in the driveway of George Washington University Hospital, and he was first to tell reporters that President Reagan had been wounded in that day's assassination attempt.

NOFZIGER: The President will be fully capable of making decisions tomorrow, according to the doctors. In the meantime, the business of government has gone on normally, and we expect it to continue to.

: Lyn Nofziger was a spokesman in Reagan's campaigns for governor of California, then for president. When he got to Washington, Nofziger became known for wearing rumpled sports jackets and a Mickey Mouse tie. The conservative columnist George Will once compared him to Sancho Panza, an irreverent sidekick to Ronald Reagan's Don Quixote. In later years, Nofziger recalled how Reagan advisors like Lee Atwater tried to carry him through uneven moments, like a botched presidential debate in 1984.

NOFZIGER: And Lee was telling us, now, you know, we're going to want go out and spin this afterward--meaning, making it look like Reagan had won the debate, which ordinarily, would not have been hard to do, but you may remember that that debate was a kind of a disaster for Reagan. He did not do well at all. And I must tell you, I was very uncomfortable spinning that.

: After he left the White House, Lyn Nofziger became a lobbyist, and was convicted of ethics violations. The conviction was later overturned. He never became a social friend of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. He once explained this by saying they don't drink enough. But to the end of his life, Lyn Nofziger, who died at 81, remained a supporter of the president he'd served. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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