Some Conservatives Attack Hastert For Not Taking Action Against Foley
Three prominent conservatives suggested yesterday that House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) failed miserably as a leader in not being proactive in dealing with disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL).
First, talk show host Michael Reagan and Citizens United President David Bossie called on Hastert to resign immediately for covering up Foley’s inappropriate behavior.
“Speaker Hastert had knowledge of Congressman Foley’s inappropriate behavior and chose to protect a potential pedophile and powerful colleague over a congressional page,” Bossie wrote in a press release. “This inaction demonstrates a lack of leadership on Speaker Hastert’s part, and calls into question both his judgment and character. If Speaker Hastert was willing to sacrifice a child to protect Rep. Foley’s seat and his own leadership position, then he surely does not share our American and conservative values.”
In the same release, Reagan says: “Any member of Congress who was aware of the sexual emails and protected the congressman should also resign effective immediately."
Separately, in an interview yesterday afternoon on CNN, pundit Bay Buchanan said that the email that Hastert was informed about — and described as “overly friendly” — “had predator stamped all over it."
CNN'S JOHN KING: (A) member of the leadership team came to the speaker months ago, says he told him about this questionable one e-mail exchange. not a sexual one of nature but a questionable e-mail exchange in which then Congressman Foley asked a 16-year-old to send him a picture. That is red flag for pedophilia and inappropriate conduct. The Speaker says he doesn’t dispute Mr. Reynolds told him that but he can’t recall that conversation. What does that say about the speaker?
BUCHANAN: I tell you what, I don’t know who knew what when and who is remembering correctly. I know one thing: that e-mail they call an “overly friendly e-mail” that had predator stamped all over it. No one in this country can suggest otherwise. You’re in a leadership position. You have a colleague you know is at least a potential predator and we have the pages coming through his office every day? They had an obligation, that same day, to investigate him further, to call in the FBI, if that was an appropriate action and also to call in those pages and make certain every one of them was interviewed to see if there is any problems here that goes deeper than what they already knew. They failed the parents of this country is what they did.
Is this a sign of things to come?
Something tells me that between now and Election Day, we'll be hearing other prominent Christian conservatives and "family values" Republican groups speak out against Republican "leaders" who knew about Foley's e-mail exchanges with 16-year-old pages for months -- Hastert, House Majority Leader John Boehner and Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.