PARSIPPANY, N.J. — In an emotional plea for confidence in President Reagan's handling of the Iranian arms scandal, White House political director Mitchell E. Daniels promised the nation's Republican governors Monday that the "nightmare" of Watergate will not be repeated.
In the first public effort by a senior White House official to distinguish the Iranian arms fiasco from the Watergate scandal that forced President Richard M. Nixon's resignation in August, 1974, Daniels acknowledged that "many Americans are troubled that we will relive the events of 1974, that somehow this nightmare of the past will be repeated."
But "it's not going to happen," he said in a speech to the annual meeting of GOP governors here. "There will be no cover-up," he said.
Daniels' plea for support came on the same day that Patrick J. Buchanan, the White House communications director, blasted congressional Republicans for deserting President Reagan, saying that with a few exceptions "the whole damn pack has headed for the tall grass" over the Iran- contra scandal.