Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hastert: I'll resign if it helps the Republicans

Embattled House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) has told conservative activist Paul Weyrich that he would resign if it would help the Republicans, Congressional Quarterly is reporting.

"He said if he thought that resigning would be helpful to the Republicans maintaining the majority, he would do it," Weyrich said in an interview. "But he did not think it would helpful for Republicans."

CQ staffers report that Weyrich held, in his words, "an emotional telephone conversation" with the Speaker, who is facing accusations that he was aware of disgraced Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) behavior issues long before his office has stated he was.

According to the article, Weyrich, "who was one of the first to publicly call for the Speaker's head," withdrew his request for Hastert to resign after speaking directly with him. "I feel now that he ought to be given the benefit of the doubt," Weyrich said. "He has never, ever lied to me or dissembled. I regard him as one of the good people up there."

Weyrich had earlier in the day told NPR's Michele Norris that "homosexuals tend to be preoccupied with sex."


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