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Hastert still quite the speaker (Wants Mitt -- Slams Newt)
Sun Times ^ | March 28, 2012 | HANNAH KOHUT

Posted on 03/28/2012 2:04:35 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert speaks at St. Xavier University in Chicago Wednesday, March 21, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

There were jabs at Newt Gingrich, kudos for Mitt Romney, connections between driving a school bus and serving as speaker of the U.S. House and opinions on the wars in the Middle East.

Denny Hastert, who went from teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School to become the longest-serving Republican House Speaker ever, shared thoughts as wide-ranging as his background last week in a speech at St. Xavier University in Chicago.

Hastert, who was raised in Oswego and later taught government at Yorkville High, was the representative from Illinois’ 14th Congressional District from 1987 to 2007. He succeeded Gingrich as speaker in 1999 when Gingrich resigned.

On Newt

Hastert talked about working with Gingrich, who remains in the running for the Republican presidential nomination despite being well behind Romney and Rick Santorum in the delegate race.

“Newt Gingrich, I think you’ve heard of him lately, was a brilliant guy, he really was,” Hastert said. “He was very articulate, with four ideas a day. Three were good, one not good. Newt loved to be on TV, and he couldn’t pass a TV camera.”

Hastert said Gingrich alienated many Republican supporters after leading the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. He said the Republicans lost six House seats as a result.

Gingrich then resigned, and Hastert replaced him in 1999.

“The media had a time, saying I was a temporary speaker, an accidental speaker,” Hastert said. “I ended up being speaker longer than anyone in the country.”

Of Gingrich’s refusal to give up on the presidential race, Hastert said, “That’s Newt. Newt was always cantankerous and stubborn and also brilliant and articulate, but that’s probably one of the reasons people who worked with Newt didn’t support him.

“Newt really wasn’t good about bringing people together and making the process work. I think that what happened is he began to wear on people.”

In Romney’s corner

Hastert said he wasn’t surprised that Romney handily won the Illinois Republican presidential primary last week.

“I was speaker while he was governor of Massachusetts,” Hastert said. “Being governor of Massachusetts ... the state was pretty far to the left. He was able to come in and actually make changes there and took that over with a $3 billion debt and left it with a $2 billion rainy day fund without raising taxes, which was pretty spectacular.”

Hastert said Romney has what it takes to win the general election against President Barack Obama in November, too.

“I think that people who run government have to know business,” Hastert said. “You don’t have to be a businessman, but you have to understand business, and that’s what we need.”

Hastert said a Republican can beat Obama by winning over independent voters.

“What Obama did four years ago was he picked up a lot of independents and he picked up a lot of people who never voted before,” Hastert said. “It’s my assessment that some of those people are never going to vote again.

“Independents are up for grabs, and if Romney can show he has better ideas for getting the economy going, holding down the cost of living — which includes gas prices — and he has a better plan for this country, he’ll pick up the independents, as well as the moderates and the conservatives.”

From driver to big wheel

Hastert also was Yorkville High School’s wrestling coach and — occasionally — the bus driver.

“The thing that prepared me most for being a speaker of the House was driving the school bus,” Hastert said.

“You have this big thing that you had to keep between the lines, you had all these kids behind you with all types of behaviors, and you had this big mirror and a steering wheel and a drive shift. And you control how this bus went but constantly had to keep your eye on these guys behind you and make sure you watched your back all the time.”

The war

Hastert said a speech by former President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks convinced him the United States was in for a long war.

“He said, ‘We’re fighting a terrorist group that we really don’t know a lot about and people think we can go and take care of and solve this thing in three months,’” Hastert said. “I knew it was going to take a long time and it was not going to be easy.

“We see that terrorism forces are being fed by forces in Iran and there’s a real hatred out there, and things aren’t going to get better before they get worse for a long time.”


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: blameitonnewt; dennyhastert; drivingbusovercliff; economy; epicfail; gingrich2012; gopprimary; hastert; leadership; longestspeaker; lostdecade; whenindoubtblamenewt
Nothing like glossing over the 1994 Republican Revolution, Newt's departure and his ascent (minus talk of Livingston) to Speaker!

Wow! The Establishment is a slimy bunch.

Byron York: What really happened in the Gingrich ethics case? "The Romney campaign has been hitting Newt Gingrich hard over the 1990s ethics case that resulted in the former Speaker being reprimanded and paying a $300,000 penalty. Before the Iowa caucuses, Romney and his supporting super PAC did serious damage to Gingrich with an ad attacking Gingrich's ethics past. Since then, Romney has made other ads and web videos focusing on the ethics matter, and at the Republican debate in Tampa Monday night, Romney said Gingrich "had to resign in disgrace."

In private conversations, Romney aides often mention the ethics case as part of their larger argument that Gingrich would be unelectable in a race against President Obama.

Given all the attention to the ethics matter, it's worth asking what actually happened back in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The Gingrich case was extraordinarily complex, intensely partisan, and driven in no small way by a personal vendetta on the part of one of Gingrich's former political opponents. It received saturation coverage in the press; a database search of major media outlets revealed more than 10,000 references to Gingrich's ethics problems during the six months leading to his reprimand. It ended with a special counsel hired by the House Ethics Committee holding Gingrich to an astonishingly strict standard of behavior, after which Gingrich in essence pled guilty to two minor offenses. Afterwards, the case was referred to the Internal Revenue Service, which conducted an exhaustive investigation into the matter. And then, after it was all over and Gingrich was out of office, the IRS concluded that Gingrich did nothing wrong. After all the struggle, Gingrich was exonerated.

I wrote about the matter at the time, first in a 1995 article about Gingrich's accusers and then in a 1999 piece on the Internal Revenue Service report that cleared Gingrich. (Both pieces were for The American Spectator; I'm drawing on them extensively, but unfortunately neither is available online.)"........................

1 posted on 03/28/2012 2:04:47 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Hastert-the-Liar: “He … took that over with a
$3 billion debt and left it with a $2 billion
rainy day fund without raising taxes, which
was pretty spectacular.

Here are the facts from CATO.


MITT ROMNEY - THE PROVEN BAD GOVERNOR

"As U.S. real output grew 13 percent between 2002 and 2006, Massachusetts trailed at 9 percent.
* Manufacturing employment fell 7 percent nationwide those years, but sank 14 percent under Romney, placing Massachusetts 48th among the states.
* Between fall 2003 and autumn 2006, U.S. job growth averaged 5.4 percent, nearly three times Massachusetts' anemic 1.9 percent pace.
* While 8 million Americans over age 16 found work between 2002 and 2006, the number of employed Massachusetts residents actually declined by 8,500 during those years.
"Massachusetts was the only state to have failed to post any gain in its pool of employed residents," professors Sum and McLaughlin concluded.
In an April 2003 meeting with the Massachusetts congressional delegation in Washington, Romney failed to endorse President Bush's $726 billion tax-cut proposal."

[Cato Institute annual Fiscal Policy Report Card - America's Governors, 2004.]

2 posted on 03/28/2012 2:09:38 PM PDT by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Illinois GOP officeholders are generally not to be trusted - they've spent too much time in bed with Dems fattening themselves at the public trough (to mix metaphors).
3 posted on 03/28/2012 2:21:47 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Nothing like glossing over the 1994 Republican Revolution, Newt's departure and his ascent (minus talk of Livingston) to Speaker!

Wow! The Establishment is a slimy bunch.

Hastert is the ace that never got any credit (dis-credit) for allowing the Repub Congress under Bush to create more government and run up deficits. A me-too Republican!

4 posted on 03/28/2012 2:31:37 PM PDT by VRW Conspirator (Neo-communist equals Neo-fascist)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Hastert was a horrible speaker and helped to create the current problem. His advice is worthless and his endorsement will sway no votes.


5 posted on 03/28/2012 2:33:12 PM PDT by Soul of the South (When times are tough the tough get going.)
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To: Diogenesis

The more I see Newts enemies the more I like him.


6 posted on 03/28/2012 2:35:08 PM PDT by sheikdetailfeather ("We Need To Teach The Establishment a Lesson" - Newt Gingrich)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Hastert is an old screwel teechur, liberal as they come, and slimey as a slug.


7 posted on 03/28/2012 2:35:51 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Hey Hastert, how’s your pal, William Jefferson, D-LA?


8 posted on 03/28/2012 2:36:09 PM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Soul of the South

He impeached Bill Clinton.

You are pretty much off base


9 posted on 03/28/2012 2:37:28 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: Soul of the South

Hastert was a horrible speaker and helped to create the current problem. His advice is worthless and his endorsement will sway no votes.

....agreed, but even worse, he was a CROOK who took cash in envelopes (FBI tapes) and had highways routed to nowhere except they went right by land he owned in partnership with other crooked pols...a disasterous speaker and lapdog!

ymmv


10 posted on 03/28/2012 2:41:33 PM PDT by ElectionInspector (Molon Labe...)
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To: bert
He impeached Bill Clinton. You are pretty much off base

Horsehockey....

His kid goes from working in a record store to making 170 large on "K Street:". His wife owned the land (In a trust I believe) that became the exit ramp for a new highway and that was worth 7 digits...

And he is off base? Hastert was a flippin disaster and one of the reasons we got our head handed to us in 06' IMHO...

11 posted on 03/28/2012 2:47:41 PM PDT by taildragger (( Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: bert

“He impeached Bill Clinton.

You are pretty much off base”

Earmarks reached a whole new level during his term as Speaker. The federal deficit exploded (with some help from President Bush who couldn’t find his veto pen). Hastert also brought the pork home for highways in his district in locations where he owned land and benefited greatly.

He may have impeached Clinton, but didn’t get conviction in the Senate. Perhaps if the House had incorporated evidence relating to the bribes Clinton received from China in the impeachment charges instead of focusing on perjury in a “sex” case the Senate would have convicted for Clinton for treason instead of giving him a pass on perjury.

Once would not say a DA is successful for obtaining an indictment of a criminal, success is defined as winning the conviction. The same holds true for impeachment. Impeachment of Clinton was one of many Hastert failures.


12 posted on 03/28/2012 3:06:32 PM PDT by Soul of the South (When times are tough the tough get going.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Hastert says Newt began to rub people the wrong way. How telling that is. Newt wouldn't go along with the internal cronyism and deals that has gotten the country into the trouble it's in. Hastert presided over much of the troubles. Good God....Newt might be the only honest person involved in politics.
13 posted on 03/28/2012 3:18:21 PM PDT by Cindy of Nashville (What has the Democrat party become???)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Denny Hastert, who went from teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School to become the longest-serving Republican House Speaker ever, shared thoughts as wide-ranging as his background last week in a speech at St. Xavier University in Chicago.

IIRC, Hastert was a weak and useless Speaker.

His "endorsement" of Romney won't change anyone's mind, but it does signal that the establishment 'Pubbies are desperate to get their moderate the minimum number of delegates required for a first round ballot.

Because if it goes to a second round, mittens won't stand a chance.

14 posted on 03/28/2012 3:22:24 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - Another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: DustyMoment
Denny Hastert was from IL and as a Representative and Speaker, he was a RINO as useless as teats on a boar. He rates up there with Sen. Trent Lott.
15 posted on 03/28/2012 3:35:36 PM PDT by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: bert
According to the book, “Throw Them All Out”, Hastert left the speakership $10 million richer than when he went in.

He bought up land he knew the government would need to purchase and then sold it to the government for a healthy profit.

He also bought a parcel of land and he and partners decided to build a residential community on it including homes, some small businesses, and a school. The only problem was that the land was in farm country with no main roads leading to it. Hastert solved that problem by attaching an earmark of over $200 million into a federal highway bill to build a parkway that just happened to access his planned community.

I'm sure the problem Hastert and others in the GOPE have with Newt is that he knows where the bodies are buried and who put them there.

16 posted on 03/28/2012 5:59:04 PM PDT by Amntn
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To: BillyBoy; sickoflibs; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican; GOPsterinMA; Clintonfatigued

“I ended up being speaker longer than anyone in the country.”

Not quite. Hastert was the longest serving Republican Speaker. 3 rats served longer. Rayburn has everyone beat by a wide margin. Interesting, most Speakers don’t last long, usually cause the other party takes over the House. #2 and #3, O’Neill and McCormack both served during the 40 years of darkness.

Hastert deserves a good deal of the blame for 2006 and 2008 so I’m not really interested in his glowing opinion of Romney.

I found it amusing that minority leader Boehner was our nominee for Speaker in 2007, even though Hastert was still in the House and hadn’t decided to resign yet.

We really need a good Speaker to go along with a good President. Both Newt and Hastert had their failings in the office. Boehner does not impress so far.


17 posted on 03/28/2012 6:04:05 PM PDT by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Didn’t they have a good congressman in 1984 who failed in a primary challenge to liberal Charles Percy, who then lost to Paul Simon? I can’t remember that congressman’s name. But IL hasn’t produced much. Even ol’ Ev Dirksen was sneaky.


18 posted on 03/28/2012 8:35:20 PM PDT by Theodore R. (Past is prologue: The American people have again let us down in this election cycle.)
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To: MasterGunner01

You are right about that ol’ awful Lott too. He was the Deceiver in Chief. And he reflects poorly on MS voters.


19 posted on 03/28/2012 8:37:45 PM PDT by Theodore R. (Past is prologue: The American people have again let us down in this election cycle.)
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To: Impy; All

Poor Newt, he’s confused.

“We really need a good Speaker to go along with a good President. Both Newt and Hastert had their failings in the office. Boehner does not impress so far.”

Hastert make Boehner look like Hercules by comparison. Go cry in the corner, you sissy.


20 posted on 03/29/2012 7:50:40 AM PDT by GOPsterinMA (Has Mittens won one "Red State" yet?)
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To: Impy

Michelle Bachmann would make a tremendous Speaker.


21 posted on 03/29/2012 7:55:55 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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