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Hastert: Not predicting he will win election as speaker if GOP holds the House.

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Give House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) the chance to speak his mind about House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and he'll take it, just as he did Sunday night during an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity. He reaffirmed his prediction the GOP will retain the House. However, he would not predict that he will be elected speaker again. Hastert has been definitive about his desire to stay on as Speaker.

``One election at a time,'' Hastert told Hannity.

Hannity chose not to ask Hastert about his testimony last week before the House ethics committee. Or Hastert's latest thoughts on the impact of the Foley page scandal.

``Working with Nancy, it's been all politics all of the time,'' said Hastert, interviewed from Aurora. Pelosi is likely to be speaker if the Dems win control of the House next week.

transcript provide by Hastert's office........

Sean Hannity: Dennis Hastert Speaker of the House joins us from aurora, Illinois. Nancy Pelosi will tell anybody who will listen she will be the next speaker of the house. The quote is she can have any suite she wants. I assume tonight you are going to take issue with that?

Speaker Hastert: I think she is trying to measure the curtains already. We have a good story to tell. What the American voters really focus in on what this election in Congress is all about it's about a lifestyle, it's about being able to keep a little more of your own money in your pocket rather than having -- losing the tax cuts and that republicans brought forward in the last five years. The last five years we have created an economy where 6.3 Million people have more jobs. New jobs in this country. We have said this thing more people own their own homes than ever before in the history of the country. More minorities own their homes than ever before in the history of the country. The stock markets hit a record high. We have had 19 consecutive months of good economic growth in this country. It's because we cut taxes when it was tough to do that back in 2001 and 2002 to get the economy going, to get people back to work to get people to invest in America. We have been able to do that.

SH: I don't want to interrupt you. The message on the economy you are talking about job creation issue, interest rates, inflation, is that message getting out? If you listen to just about anybody who is writing they all say republicans are going to loose seats it's a matter of how many. Do you expect republicans will loose seats?

Hastert: I think we could loose seats. We could pick a seat up. This is a national election. This election is district by district. It's about Members of Congress getting out talking to constituents about what they have been able to accomplish how we made a better life for America in this country and how we kept this country safe from terrorists in the last five years. Nobody talks about that.

SH: Have you examined the issue in terms of the house races have you examined it district by district so you know you are confident what the as a results will be on election day?

Hastert: You are never confident and American people make that final decision. If you look district by district democrats would have to take 15 seats away from republican districts.

SH: Let's talk about the woman who would like to have your job a week from this Wednesday that's Nancy Pelosi. She referred to the President of the United States as mentally unstable, she says about Republicans in Congress they are immoral, corrupt they are running a criminal investigation. She is talking about you. She can say much worse if she wants to. On the other hand she says she would like to restore civility. Does Nancy Pelosi have the teacher temperament to be the speaker of the House of Representatives?

Hastert: Working with Nancy it's been all politics all of the time. There are a lot of things we can work together with in congress that republicans ultimately got done by themselves the hard way. She turned off and said no we are not going to help you, not going to work with you. Two weeks ago she made a decision the only way to get their message out was to trash the President and trash the Republicans. They have done nothing in Congress they have no ideas we are the ones that have gotten everything done.

SH: Democrats for the most part oppose the patriot act they are against the NSA surveillance program they want to confer constitutional rights to enemy combatants. The question is they have cut intelligence funding. Are democrats in your estimation are they weak on home lands security as we close out the segment?

Hastert: They have. They actually have a record of cutting intelligence. As a matter of fact one of the problems we had at the beginning of getting into the war, we didn't have good intelligence. We didn't have good intelligence because they in the Clinton administration cut human intelligence. We didn't have people on the ground to make good decisions for us.

SH: Your prediction is one week from this Wednesday you will still be the Speaker of the House of Representatives?

Hastert: Republicans will win and I will run for Speaker.

SH: Are you confident you are going to win that?

Hastert: One election at a time.

SH: Speaker Hastert appreciate you being with us tonight. Thank you very much.

Hastert: My pleasure.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 30, 2006 8:02 AM.

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