WASHINGTON -- Gary Richard Arnold, the Republican congressional nominee who was told by President Reagan Wednesday to 'shut up,' has no telephone and is not supported by his own party in his Santa Cruz, Calif., 16th District.
Anne Nixon Ball, the Pebble Beach Republican who suffered a surprise loss to Arnold in the June primary, said: 'He claims to be in a consulting business, but he does not specify. Nobody really knows what he does. The party leaders won't have anything to do with him.'
She also said Arnold claims that Reagan 'is betraying our party and country ... It's really sickening.'
Of the election, she said: 'They were all shocked that he beat me. Nobody knew him. Everybody thought I would get it without any problem because he's such a screwball. That's what they called him -- a screwball.'
Arnold also ran for congress several years ago in Los Angeles against former Rep. Yvonne Burke.
His Democratic opponent this year, Rep. Leon Panetta, contacted by United Press International after the White House incident, said Arnold is 'in far right field' and 'not one of my more serious challengers.'
His 'basic campaign thrust is the Trilateral commission has taken over the country, including Ronald Reagan ... (and) we're all part of the conspiracy,' Panetta said.
Arnold describes himself as a man who 'looks like Lenin, talks like Lincoln.' He passes out red bumper stickers with the hammer and sickle symbol and the words, 'Welcome to the People's Republic of Santa Cruz.'
Panetta, who has been in Congress since 1977, has always won by sizable margins in his district and is expected to do so again.
Reagan's wrath was aroused during a pep talk to a group of Republican congressional candidates in the White House. Arnold shouted for recognition after Reagan accused Democratic leaders of being out of touch with their party's rank and file.
He later told reporters outside the White House it is Reagan who 'has lost touch ... The illusion that Reagan is right is wrong.'
As others tried to restrain him, Arnold accused Reagan of abandoning Taiwan, being too soft on the Soviets, and turning his back on conservatives by supporting the $98.3 billion tax boost.
An unidentified candidate on the other side of the East Room stood and applauded.
With a rare public flash of anger, the president glared at Arnold and said, 'I don't know who the two of you are, but you haven't said a word that's true yet.'
When Arnold continued to berate the tax hike, Reagan shouted, 'Shut up!'
Reporters attempting to telephone Arnold's number in Santa Cruz found the telephone out of service, and not even the Republican Party headquarters had a number for him.
Arnold has scheduled a news conference Thursday to talk about filing a suit against the Republican National Committee and Reagan, accusing them of wrongfully using donations to aid in the passage of the tax bill.