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Hastert: I'll resign if it will help the GOP

But, he says, stepping down won’t actually help. Falling…on…sword…nope. (CQ):

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., told a leading conservative Wednesday that he would resign as the top congressional leader if it would help the Republican Party stave off defeat in November.

But conservative activist Paul Weyrich said Hastert has rejected calls for his resignation because he believes it would prompt “a feeding frenzy” that ultimately would lead to the downfall of other GOP leaders as well. [Got that right.]

“He said if he thought that resigning would be helpful to the Republicans maintaining the majority, he would do it. But he did not think it would be helpful for Republicans,” Weyrich said in an interview after holding what he described as an emotional telephone conversation with Hastert, who is home in Illinois campaigning and trying to deal with the fallout from the Mark Foley scandal.

“He said he thought his resignation would just lead to a feeding frenzy where they would go after (Majority Leader John A.) Boehner, then (Rep. Thomas M.) Reynolds, then (Rep. John) Shimkus,” Weyrich added. “And he said we would have the story running right up to the election.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding