The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 October 2006

Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Hastert, Foley Scandal


Rush's Urgent Interview With Speaker Hastert

In the midst of a congressional scandal that has many conservatives seriously questioning Republican Party leadership, talk titan Rush Limbaugh was able to secure a rare interview with the man of the hour, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois).

In it, Limbaugh addressed some of the grave concerns that are currently facing the party faithful, including whether or not Hastert properly dealt with gay sex allegations against now- former Rep Mark Foley (R- FL) when they first arose.

Did he have all of the information now available?

And because some conservatives have asked Hastert to resign as House Speaker over this still- unfolding mess, including at the editorial pages of the Washington Times, Rush dealt with that question upfront. Limbaugh feels that Republicans must learn to better fight back against last- minute onslaughts of negative campaigning from Democrats that utilize their mainstream media friends.

In addition, Rush asked the speaker about the timing of these allegations and whether they fell into the partisan "October Surprise" category, where last- minute bombshells are dropped in order to distract from the party's message.

From Limbaugh's official transcript:

RUSH: We're happy to be joined now by the Speaker of the House, Denny Hastert. Mr. Speaker, welcome to the EIB Network. Great to speak to you again, sir.

SPEAKER HASTERT: Thanks, Rush. Great to be with you today.

RUSH: Now, I guess the big news is, the Washington Times' admittedly conservative editorial page, has asked for you to step down and resign, and you have said you're not going to do that. Correct?

SPEAKER HASTERT: Well, yeah. I'm not going to do that. What we've tried to do is -- focused on this Foley thing is -- do the right thing. We had two messages. There were two pieces of paper out there, one that we knew about and we acted on; one that happened in 2003 we didn't know about, but somebody had it, and, you know, they're trying -- and they drop it the last day of the session, you know, before we adjourn on an election year.

Now, we took care of Mr. Foley. We found out about it, asked him to resign. He did resign. He's gone. We asked for an investigation. We've done that. We're trying to build better protections for these page programs. But, you know, this is a political issue in itself, too, and what we've tried to do as the Republican Party is make a better economy, protect this country against terrorism -- and we've worked at it ever since 9/11, worked with the president on it -- and there are some people that try to tear us down. We are the insulation to protect this country, and if they get to me it looks like they could affect our election as well.

RUSH: Well, it's clear to me that what the Democrats are doing here in some sort of cooperation with some in the media is to suppress conservative turnout by making it look like you guys knew this all along but because you're so interested in holding the House rather than protecting children that you covered it up.


RUSH: And I like what you said yesterday, if I may editorialize this way, when you said, "Look, somebody knew this long before we knew it. Somebody knew about those instant messages," and you asked for an investigation into who knew what when. We know that a couple of newspapers in Florida knew a lot more than they were willing to release, and Brian Ross of ABC admitted that he knew about this all the way back in August but he didn't have time for it then because he was worried about the Katrina anniversary and September 11th and so forth. Is that investigation you've called for going to go anywhere? Who's going to chair that? Who's going to run that?

SPEAKER HASTERT: Well, first of all, you know, we've asked the federal government. We asked the FBI. I don't think you could ask anybody better than the FBI, and they have brought this investigation forward. We've also asked the State of Florida, because it's my understanding that's where most of these messages circa 2003 came from. So we've asked the State of Florida to come forward with an investigation as well.

RUSH: Many of my listeners watch all this, and they see a predictable pattern. They've been watching politics and observing it for many years now. They see that this is a strategic political, or politically timed, release of information, particularly based on how long ago it has been known, and there is -- I have to tell you there's -- a hunger and a real craving amongst conservative voters for Republicans in Washington, House and Senate both, to simply refuse to be set back on your heels and accept this defensive position and just go on offense and strike back at these guys.

"Hey, Mark Foley is not what the future of this country is about. It's about protecting the nation, national security, prosperity, ongoing efforts to maintain a good economy, not destroying the health care system," and this sort of thing. Is there a problem that Republicans in the House and the Senate have about going on offense when these kind of things happen?

SPEAKER HASTERT: Absolutely not. We are going on offense, but you have to answer the concerns that people have on the Foley situation. I've tried to answer 'em. We've made the page system safer. We're going to work to make it even more safe, but the fact is, we hit the high time of Wall Street today. The economy is good because we've done the right things on holding taxes down, on holding litigation down, holding regulation down -- and I'll tell you, if we lose this election, if this goes back over to the Democrats, it'll come back in spades.

RUSH: What do you mean it will come spades? You mean they'll reverse the work?

SPEAKER HASTERT: You'll see higher taxes. You'll see more litigation. You'll see more regulation. That's what they're all about -- and we won't have this economy. We worked to protect this country against terrorism, passed legislation to do that. We've had to fight guys like Leahy every day to make this thing happen, but we've done it.

RUSH: About the page program: Is it really in bad shape? I mean, you have the Foley incident. We don't know if there was ever any real contact between Foley and any of these pages. I understand he sent these e-mails that could be viewed as predatory, but is the page program really in a dire circumstance here?

SPEAKER HASTERT: There's two sets of e-mails first of all -- or text messages I guess what they are -- and one set or bunch of them were done in 2003. We never knew about it. Someone else held those all the way from 2003 until now. The next set was -- the other one was -- something that the family asked Representative Alexander to look into. He contacted the counsel in our office. Our counsel put him to the page board. The page board confronted Foley, and this was Katrina message that said, basically, "How did you get through the hurricane? Are you okay?" But the parents wanted him... We did know what the text of that message was because the parents held it and they didn't want it revealed, but we stopped it. We went to Foley; told him to stand down, "Don't do this." We asked if there was any sex or explicit language in this message. There was not, and we thought we had the thing revolved. On the other hand, we're trying to do better.

As I said, since I've been speaker we've taken the pages out of a dilapidated building; put them in a safe building, given them 24-hour supervision, put more people in the page building so that they have contacts. They have people who look over them and work with them all the time. They are under, basically, 24-hour supervision while they're in Washington. This happened when the pages left Washington -- and, you know, we're in the same situation with parents all over America in trying to make sure our kids are safe, and we want to work to make sure all this text messages messaging stuff and computer stuff is safe, too.

RUSH: Mr. Speaker, I'm hearing a lot of people -- I'm in Florida, and of course there's a lot of press talk about this and individuals including in Washington -- who are saying, "Well, we've known for a long time of Mr. Foley's sexual orientation." When the first set of e-mails hit and the red flags of alarm went up, was there any hesitation on the part of the Republican leadership to not deal with this in public at that point because of his sexual orientation and not to appear to be gay bashing?

SPEAKER HASTERT: No. First of all, what we knew is exactly what I told you. The parents contacted us. They wanted someplace to go to because they didn't want this contact to go on, and what we knew about it was that Foley contacted this kid through e-mail and asked him how he got through the hurricane, the Katrina hurricane. He was from New Orleans, I guess. The other part of it was, well, we didn't know anything else other than what they told us. We went to Foley, confronted him. He said he wouldn't do it anymore. He was sorry. He was just trying to talk to the kid -- he liked the kid, nice kid -- and he wouldn't do it anymore. We told him not to do it anymore there or to anybody. Period.

RUSH: I know time is limited. Let me ask you one question that's unrelated to this. As is exemplified today in the Washington Times editorial -- and there are others in the so-called conservative movement, pundits who have written op-eds in various publications in recent weeks -- suggesting that it might be good for the Republicans to lose control of the House because they have failed to govern as the conservatives they campaigned as.

All the spending, I mean, you've heard the complaints. Is there...? This is sort of a silly question. I think I know what your answer is going to be, but I still want to put it out there. Is there anything to be gained by -- is there a lesson you guys in the House could be taught -- by losing this election?

SPEAKER HASTERT: Look it, we could lose and let the Democrats be in power for ten or 15 or 20 years, 40 years, like they were the last time. Because once they get power, they can solidify that power, just like we've been in control for 12 years. I would like to put that on. But if you look at what we've done over 12 years, the fact is, over the last four years we've had flat spending on everything except national defense and homeland security.

If you look at what we've done with the budget and the economy, the last year was the first time that we ever cut real non- -- you know, spending that we did, and we cut spending $40 billion, and, you know, that's the first time that's been done. But, you know, that's what our record is and that's probably why the Democrats don't want us there.

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  • I won't ask Brian, because he obviously doesn't care...

    Does anyone note the disingenuous way Brian reports this story?

    Did anyone catch the deliberate omission on Brian's part?

    Of course, Hastert and Rush didn't disclose this particular bit of info, as it obviously wouldn't help their cause...

    However, Brian, as an "equalizer", deliberately omitting the facts?


    By Blogger TJ, at 03 October, 2006 20:14  

  • For instance, why is this referred to as "gay sex allegations", as if it would be far less reprehensible had Foley been messing around with underaged females under his care?

    Call it pedophilia, and the Republican culture of corruption in full effect.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 03 October, 2006 20:29  

  • I just find it amusing that the Donks are now going apeshyte with moral indignation over activities that they would themselves by and large attempt to condone or explain away were the (R) after Foley's name a (D) instead. The WashPost has an article up today with specific details of how such scandals affect GOPs versus Donks in a different fashion.

    But that matters not a whit. To get caught up in that kind of "they did it too" discussion or mentality is a variation of the old Tu Quoque fallacy. Put in more modern terms, the hated and vilified Bill O'Reilly says it best: You cannot excuse bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior.

    That said, Dennis Hastert must resign from the house, immediately. John Boehner must resign from the house, immediately. In fact, the entire fargin' GOP house leadership must resign from the house. Not from their positions within the house, but entirely resign. As in C-ya, buh-bye, hasta la vista, baby.

    Because as long as any of those scuzzbags are in the House, there ain't no way in hell I'm voting for them. Why? Because they do not deserve any measure of trust.

    This is just the latest in a string of eff-ups on the part of Hastert and Company. They've taken any spirit of the 104th Congress and mutated it into a belief that the only thing they need to do in order to stay in power is to eat right and exercise. Evidently, Potomac Fever knows no party boundary.

    So if the result is Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, so be it. The current GOP leadership is a cancer which needs to be cut out of the party. And after every surgery, there is postoperative pain. And so it shall be come November.

    Hastert must resign.

    By Blogger SierraSpartan, at 03 October, 2006 21:46  

  • Absolutely, and thank you.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 03 October, 2006 21:52  

  • Michael Savage is even calling for the resignations, yet the drug addled, limp-ball, is defending them. UNREAL. I repeat SAVAGE , gets it, he understands Hasart knew, only a drud addled freak like Rush would defend the indefensible. aloney for you to defend the drug addled freak, says a lot about you. You are as clueless as they come. Party over country to the end.
    Limbaugh would show no sympathy to children being molested, the great man of family values in his late 40's (I assume) still has no children.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 03 October, 2006 22:17  

  • Hell Sean Hannity said it's Clintons fault. (Does Sean have a thing for Clinton. . . just wondering).

    By Blogger mick, at 03 October, 2006 23:15  

  • If conservatives would just learn how to tell the truth, they wouldn't choose to lose themselves in opiates and deviancy with children just to be able to escape from themselves.

    The country is being run by a bunch of theives and pedophiles (and the scandal is about to get WORSE!)

    Glad I was never in bed with them...

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 04 October, 2006 00:21  

  • Hash, buddy, ya gotta understand - like I said before, Potomac Fever knows no party boundaries.

    For every scandal that is unfolding for the GOP right now, I can go back to 1992 and earlier and quote an equally severe transgression against the public good, with some examples being the house bank, Dan Rostenkowski, Barney Frank's boyfriend's escort service, etc., etc.

    The problem does not lie with the current party in charge. The problem lies in the fact that there is no accountability in DC anymore. With 435 congressional districts now, the same number of districts as there was back in 1959 when AK and HI were admitted to the union, the population per district has gotten to the point that whomever gets elected to a seat is effectively elected for life unless they self-immolate, as Foley has just done.

    My congresscritter is ass-deep in Abramoff money, but is going to be returned to Congress, because CA-4 is a dead-dog GOP district, and he won the primary. William Jefferson down in LA-3 will probably be re-elected even though he has been nailed on tape taking a $100K bribe (allegedly).

    Again, citing other prior bad behavior is no excuse for current bad behavior.

    The only proper response to such bad behavior, for people with honor, is to resign from their position of power and responsibility.

    But as we have seen in the past and in the present, with both current political parties, the concept of honor doesn't go very far inside the DC Beltway.

    And believe me when I tell you, were the Donks to get back into power, within ten to twelve years you will be seeing the same kind of shyte going down.

    Because this kinda crap isn't about party - it's about power.

    And it's sickening.

    And for the health of the nation, it's gotta stop.

    By Blogger SierraSpartan, at 04 October, 2006 02:40  

  • JD, you have hit the nail on the head. I think that is why fully half the country refuse to vote in elections. Both sides are in it for the power, not our country. it truely is discusting!

    By Blogger NtvAmrcn, at 04 October, 2006 03:13  

  • And in a somewhat related story (or not), there's going to be a debate here in my part of Connecticut-stan--the 4th "Congressional" District between wimpy RINO Chris Shays and uber-leftist defeatist Diane Farrell--NEITHER OF WHOM WILL GET MY VOTE.

    I'm voting for Libertarian Phil Maymin. My message to the two-party system is this--PARTY'S OVER.

    And MOP, shocked as I am to agree with you, Savage is right to call for Hastert to resign. Why many stations are still with Hush Bimbo is beyond me. Sometimes our capitalist system has flaws in it. But that is better than the alternative.

    And in closing Absolure Power Corrupts Absolutely.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 04 October, 2006 07:02  

  • This "October Surprise" suggestion is a red herring. This info was given months ago to two Florida newspapers and Fox News, but none of them followed up on it. Had they done so, it would have been an August story.
    Changing the focus to the media and Democrats on this is just pathetic. Put the blame where it belongs: On a guy preying on underage teens.

    By Blogger Justin, at 04 October, 2006 07:27  

  • People who should resign are the people who sat on this instead of reporting it immediately.

    The fact that the disloyal opposition put obtaining power above protecting the pages is one unconscionable scandal, and what makes it worse is the left wingnut partisans here only looking for the Democrats to gain power, not them condemning the fact that the pages were an after thought and political pawns.

    By Blogger PCD, at 04 October, 2006 08:54  

  • Ah, but it is the almighty GOP who puts retaining power over normal decent human behavior, and it is Hastert & Company who devalued the basic dignity and pride of the pages by covering up the entire scandal (only vainly trying to cover their weak asses now that they've learned there is even more to come....)

    No conscience, no competence, no integrity. That's the legacy of conservatism in America, pure and simple.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 04 October, 2006 09:57  

  • As much as I dislike a lot of Savage's viewpoint, he is not a party hack. He is objective on many issues. I will be honest, as much as I like Rhodes, she is a party hack, so is Franken and Sedar. The only non-party hacks on A.A are Tom Hartman and at one time Mike Malloy. They are "liberal" commentators, not Democrat cheerleaders, same can be said for Savage a "conservative" commentator, not a RNC hired gun. As liberal as I'm, I can tune into Savage and enjoy another viewpoint, without total frustration, such as he case with Limbaugh and Hannity. Brian, unfortunatly is at the Limbaugh level, not the Savage or Hartman level. I fall victim to the party cheerleading on my show sometimes too, but it's a learning process.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 04 October, 2006 10:22  

  • This is all pretty simple:

    It's election year politics as usual.

    But what's sad is that it works. I see this again and again in business, and I do it myself.

    Here's what's going on. The Democrats can't win on the important issues?

    Financial policy a success? Rational people say yes;

    War in Iraq necessary evil? Rational people say yes;

    New direction for America? People say OK but want to know what it is before they buy the Democrats.

    The Democrats would lose on all these fronts.

    So, they do what I do - raise what is (in the bigger scheme of things such as the fate of the nation) - a controversial but trivial issue.

    All the talkers have leaped right on it as it's juicy and fun to report and argue about, and all the big things, such as the highest DOW in 6 years are forgotten. Yup.

    Very sad that people are so easily distracted.

    Look! What's that shiny thing over there?!? .

    Just follow that, folks; pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    By Blogger Lokki, at 04 October, 2006 11:04  

  • This is not about "Gay Sex." It is about sexual communications with a MINOR. Why on earth does it matter if the minor was male or female? And how do you, Brian, not grasp the distinction between consenting adults and preying on a teenager?

    By Blogger Justin, at 04 October, 2006 11:43  

  • Wow - look at the comments, Brian.

    People simply aren't falling for it this time (the majority of reasonable people, anyway).

    Now I will ask:

    Do you have any capacity for decency or shame?

    I, of course, doubt it.

    By Blogger TJ, at 04 October, 2006 12:41  

  • Loki :Financial policy a success? Rational people say yes;
    5 million net jobs in 6 1.2 years????? mmmmm compare that to Clintons 16 million net jobs, stock market reaced the level it was 6 years ago, house purchases were DOWN for the first time, since maybe the Great depression in August. Wages are not up, people are making far less, ALL FACTS. The economy is meidocre at BEST. Health care costs UP, gas prices overall UP. So before you toss the DOW number at me (which is still lower than the late 1990's. WHERE IS THE SUCCESS with the ECONOMY??????? NEED MORE??? Poverty is UP BIG TIME, DEFECIT UP, to te point where your grandchildren will pay for it. SO LOKI, what exactly are you talking about??????

    War in Iraq necessary evil? Rational people say yes;
    So I guess 60-70% of America are irrational in not seeing the good in the Iraqi war. You just do not get it, man your hopeless.

    UNREAL. Just amazing. You are absolutly brainwashed with talking points.

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 04 October, 2006 13:28  

  • So, Brian, what are you wearing?

    By Blogger Mr. Kite, at 04 October, 2006 16:34  

  • Rethugs have no shame.

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 04 October, 2006 16:42  

  • Maloney,

    Fighting back is a fair recommendation and justified, but only if you portray the facts accurately.

    The laws of our country establish the boundaries for appropriate conduct and for you to twist the facts is why you will never be taken serious as a blogger or reporter.

    By Blogger none, at 04 October, 2006 17:48  

  • Hastert must resign? hey moran, just because your whack job buddies are against GOP's, doesn't mean you have a say.Clinton lied to a grand jury, but was just a cigar, oops sex, oops, well the definition of sex isn't....What a bunch of losers you people are. Maybe Ted Kennedy should resign because he killed a girl, but that was just a date, oops, he was so drunk he forgot he was on a date, oops,he can't swim.
    Your Kool-Aid is ready ......

    By Blogger Owen, at 04 October, 2006 19:29  

  • you're missing reality there by a wide mark, owen...

    a small but loud number of the GOP &/or Conservative faithful are calling for Hastert to resign...

    JD is one of them. Patriot World is another.

    You, owen, are in a much smaller group of those who put party before decency always (and, yes, Brian obviously counts himself in that number).

    This issue is not about right and left, it's about right and wrong.

    And as long as there are those who will disseminate, like Brian - like you, things are only going to get worse.

    Enjoy the crap pile you folks are building - I'll be off avoiding the stink...

    By Blogger TJ, at 04 October, 2006 20:21  

  • They are too busy covering up the fact that gay male escort Jeff Gannon spent over two hundred "overnights" at the White House....

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 06 October, 2006 11:11  

  • May we all agree that the argument between the sides comes down to this?


    It depends on whose page was gored

    Da Dum!

    By Blogger Lokki, at 06 October, 2006 16:22  

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