Comments that Hastert made in a Tribune interview suggesting the scandal had been orchestrated by ABC News, Democratic political operatives aligned with the Clinton White House and liberal activist George Soros were considered a serious misstep in national Republican circles, an official said. Senior Republican officials contacted Hastert's office before his news conference Thursday to urge that he not repeat the charges, and he backed away from them in his news conference.
"The Chicago Tribune interview last night--the George Soros defense--was viewed as incredibly inept," a national Republican official said. "It could have been written by [comedian] Jon Stewart."
Democrats ridiculed assertions that party operatives arranged the scandal.
If Denny wasn't done, this would have never ended up in the paper. It's pure damage control not of the Foley scandal, but of the buffoonery of Hastert himself. What Hastert doesn't seem to understand is that an aging rock star who can no longer pack the big venues, he himself is done, and the GOP doesn't have the guts to cancel the rest of the tour. Luckily for us, Hastert won't be going anywhere before the election.