Lyn Nofziger, who quit Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign Monday, said yesterday he had "reached the point where I didn't think I was effective and I didn't see eye to eye with the people in charge."
The veteran Reagan aide, whose resignation shocked many Reagan supporters, said in a telephone interview he was not going to "point my finger at anyone."
But his comments confirmed reports from his friends that Nofziger had serious differences with John P. Sears, the manager of Reagan's undeclared campaign for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, and Michael J. Deaver, Reagan's top public relations adviser.
"When you reach the point where you feel your abilities are not being used in the proper way, you just go away," Nofziger said.
The former journalist, who had been a senior adviser to Reagan in every race since his first election as governor of California in 1966, was put in charge of fund raising and the Texas primary this time around. Friends said he was not comfortable with either assignment.
Nofziger declined to specify what had triggered his decision to quit. "There's always a straw that breaks your back," he said, "but I don't want to get into any finger-pointing."
He minimized his differences with Sears and Deaver over campaign strategy, saying "some time ago that I was not in agreement with, but we were past the point of arguing those."
As for Sears' and Deaver's reported efforts to present Reagan in 1980 as a middle-road Republican, rather than as a conservative, Nofziger said, "You can talk all you want to about repackaging Ronald Reagan, but when he starts the campaign, it will be Reagan saying the things Reagan wants to say."
Nofziger said he would not work for any other Republican contender and planned to pick up his political consulting business.
In 1976, Nofziger ran the Reagan effort in the California primary against President Ford, and after the Republican nominating convention, set up and ran Citizens for the Republic, a political action committee used to keep Reagan's national campaign organization intact.