LaHood Falsely Claims Hastert’s ‘Strong Leadership’ Was Responsible For DeLay’s Resignation

In the latest false defense of Speaker Hastert, Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL) said today on CBS’s Face the Nation that Hastert showed “strong leadership” in dealing with the Tom DeLay scandal. LaHood falsely claimed, “When Tom [DeLay] was having ethical problems, the speaker wen to him and asked him to leave.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/10/delay.320.240.flv]

In reality, Hastert repeatedly defended DeLay’s ethical misconduct and attempted to shield him from any responsibility. Hastert replaced the Republican Chairman of the House ethics committee, Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO), after the committee admonished DeLay. The House, under Hastert’s leadership, then passed a rule change that would have shielded DeLay from having to step down from his leadership post if he were indicted. The rule was later rescinded. DeLay resigned only after “a Texas grand jury indicted him and two associates on charges of conspiracy in fundraising.”

Full transcript:

LAHOOD: Look at, I give Speaker Hastert high marks for strong leadership. He took care of Tom DeLay, his best friend. When Tom was having ethical problems, the speaker went to him and asked him to leave.