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Dennis Hastert Offers Faint Praise For John McCain

Reported by Ellen - May 9, 2008 -

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert visited Hannity & Colmes last night (5/8/08) to discuss Senator John McCain's strategy for winning the election. But Hastert spent more time defending McCain first from the conservative criticisms from his base, via Sean Hannity, then from the liberal perspective of Alan Colmes. Colmes did a great job of highlighting the weaknesses of McCain and the Republican Party. At one point, Romney-supporter Hastert was left stuttering and sputtering as he tried to spin his differences with McCain. With video.

Early in his portion of the interview, Hannity noted that Hastert was “a Romney guy.” “Are you happy with Senator McCain?” Hannity asked.

Hastert replied, “Well, you know, he's our candidate. We went through the process. He won fair and square and I'm gonna support our candidate. I think he represents Republican issues and I'll support him.”

When it was his turn, Colmes referred back to that answer. He said to Hastert, “It doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement on your part.”

Hastert said, “Lookit, John McCain best represents the Republican principles of any candidate that's left in the fray and I think John will work towards that.”

In other words, as the only Republican, he's the lesser of two evils.

The rest of the interview is worth watching. Favorite moment: When Colmes asked if Republicans should fight Obama, assuming he's the nominee, on differences on the Iraq war, taxes, "things like that" or "Do you fight him on the issue of associations? ...Do you see those as the ways Republicans should fight against the likely Democratic nominee?"

When Hastert answered that Republicans have to talk about "things that Americans care about," Colmes came back with, "So you don't care about his pastor? You don't care about the Ayers thing?"