It sounds like President Reagan. And it looks like President Reagan.
"Congressman Zschau," says the voice in the television commercial, "we need your support on the MX missile. Oh, I see you're voting with the Democrats. Congressman Zschau, we need your help with Star Wars. Oh, you're voting with the Democrats. How about the contras ? Wait a minute, do I have the right number? Are you really a Republican?"
But it definitely is not President Reagan appearing in a television ad that was supposed to air next week in the hot race for California's Republican U.S. Senate nomination.
The ad, made for the ultraconservative group Free Congress, was shown in Los Angeles Thursday as the group tried to drum up interest in its threatened attack on Rep. Ed Zschau (R-Los Altos), a Senate candidate who has infuriated some members of the Republican Party661856370votes.
But the ad will never be seen commercially because the White House objected, according to Dick Dingman, director of the Free Congress Political Action Committee.
"I showed the ads to a small private meeting, and someone in the meeting became a bit alarmed because there were representations of the President in the ad," Dingman said. "They called the White House, the White House got a little bit excited and they called me. I showed them the ads, and I was told by someone in the general counsel's office that it was unacceptable for us to run these ads . . . because of White House policy."
So the group cut another ad. No Reagan. Just some people sitting around a table.
"When the Stop-Reagan Crowd gets together in Washington," says the narrator, "there is one vote they can count on."
An overweight man with a cigar in his hand picks up the phone on the table and says, "Get me Congressman Zschau."
The ad then goes on to mention the MX, "Star Wars" and the Nicaraguan contras , all issues where Zschau has opposed the President's full requests in the past. This year he switched his position and voted for Reagan's plan to arm the contras .
Dingman said the group hoped to spend $35,000 airing that ad in California, but he acknowledged that Free Congress has a problem: It is $180,000 in debt.
So when asked where the ad will run in Southern California, Dingman said, "I don't have the specifics on that."