Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar

Latest Post | Last 10 Posts | Archives

Previous Post: Mixed results for Sauerberg push
Next Post: Sometimes they are out to get you

Hastert blasts McCain, and other preznit news

Posted in:

* Retiring Congressman Denny Hastert has no love for John McCain, the man who looks like the frontrunner in the GOP presidential race. Hastert told the Tribune that McCain, “was always known among the GOP as ‘the undependable vote’” in the Senate and was always “allied with Democrats.” More

[Hastert] contended that on agenda items under the Republican-controlled Congress, “it just seems like everything we did, John was someplace else.”

“It was McCain-Kennedy, it was McCain-Lieberman, it was McCain-Feingold on campaign finance reform,” Hastert said, noting Democratic co-sponsors. “He was against us on tax cuts and his form of immigration reform was to open the gates and let everybody in.”

Asked if he considered McCain a conservative, Hastert said, “In my opinion, he is not.”

* Hastert may have been closer to the truth than he knew

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was close to leaving the Republican Party in 2001, weeks before then-Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.) famously announced his decision to become an Independent, according to former Democratic lawmakers who say they were involved in the discussions.

* I’m told the Tribune is in the field with a new poll, so we should have fresh numbers Sunday, but Rasmussen surveyed Illinois Republicans early this week and found McCain leading…

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds McCain earning 34% of the vote while Romney is eight points behind at 26%. The survey was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, finishing just before results from Florida’s Presidential Primary were known. Mike Huckabee finished a distant third at 16%.

Since the poll was completed, Rudy Giuliani has withdrawn from the race and endorsed McCain. America’s Mayor had picked up 9% of the Illinois vote in the poll.

“America’s mayor” had once dominated this state. But he was even tanking here, apparently. Not mentioned is that Ron Paul was scoring 10 percent - ahead of Giuliani.

* More from the poll…

McCain is viewed favorably by 77% of Illinois Primary Voters while Romney earns positive reviews from 71%. The men earn generally equal ratings from those who supported Giuliani in the poll.

Just 54% of voters in the state are confident they will stick with their current choice when Election Day finally arrives. Fifteen percent (15%) say there’s a good chance they could change their mind. That figure, of course, went even higher with the withdrawal of Giuliani.

Forty-one percent (41%) consider the top voting issue to be the economy. Eighteen percent (18%) say it’s National Security while 14% name Immigration as their top priority.

* Also from the poll, 52% said the was most important attritute they wanted in a president was “someone who can address national security issues,” while 35% said it was “somewho can address economic issues.”

72% gave President Bush either an “excellent” (36) or “good” (36) job approval rating. 73 percent of Republcans polled gave Gov. Blagojevich a “poor” approval rating.

* More stuff…

* Obama collects $32 million in January

* GOP turns up heat here, while Clinton backs off

* Clinton co-chair L.A. mayor got donations from Rezko: records

* Firm linked to Obama patron scrubs ‘04 visit from website

* Rezko’s first trial delayed a week

* Rezko wants trial to start

…Adding… Post-debate focus group featuring, of all people, John Cleese…

posted by Rich Miller
Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 9:56 am


  1. “73 percent of Republcians polled gave Gov. Blagojevich a “poor” approval rating.”

    Only 73 percent?

    Looks like some Blagomentum.

    (joking, of course)

    Comment by GoBearsss Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 10:01 am

  2. My question - has anyone seen any candidates on TV?

    I haven’t seen any TV buys for presidential candidates in Illinois. That makes sense on the Dem side, but not on the Republican side.

    Comment by GoBearsss Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 10:02 am

  3. New poll has Clinton’s lead down to within the margin of error, 43-39.

    Meanwhile, Barack Obama is up on t.v. in every Super Tuesday state, while Clinton is only on the air in 12 states, including her home state of New York.

    Clinton needs a knock-out on Super Tuesday, and I believe she would be up in every state if she could be. The rule in campaign ads is you’ve got to match your opponent’s t.v. buy.

    This tells me that one thing Obama said in an earlier debate may be correct. Clinton only has 100,000 donors, most of whom have maxed out their contributions.

    Obama ADDED 250,000 donors in January, for more than $32 million, and Clinton simply can’t grow her fundraising base enough to keep up.

    Also, I can’t imagine Clinton would be advertising in New York at the expense of other states unless she was worried about losing her home state. NY and California are must-win states for Clinton. If she’s worried about losing NY, her staff has seen a trend in the polling that must be very troubling to them indeed.

    To be fair, Obama is advertising in Illinois as well, which he also can’t afford to lose. However, Obama put chips down on Illinois only after he had every other state covered. In other words, he’s raised more money than he knows how to spend.

    Comment by Yellow Dog Democrat Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 10:12 am

  4. ===Also, I can’t imagine Clinton would be advertising in New York at the expense of other states unless she was worried about losing her home state.===

    Nah. Most likely she’s worried about some majority-black congressional districts.

    Comment by Rich Miller Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 10:13 am

  5. NewBear… I saw my first TV attack ad against McCain last night… his image slowly emerging from behind HRC’s….

    Re: Hastert telling us Romney is the true conservative v McCain… that will get Romney about as far as I could throw Hastert.

    McCain is going to run above party much as Obama is doing. McCain will be more succuessful at it.

    Comment by Bill Baar Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 10:21 am

  6. “73 percent of Republcians (sic) polled gave Gov. Blagojevich a “poor” approval rating.”

    7 percentage points more favorable than the average rating; Swell. And people wonder why the Illinois Republican Party is in such bad shape.
    And in other news, the Sangamon County Republican Lincoln Day Luncheon has been re-re-re-rescheduled to Sunday afternoon at 5:00 pm in Irv Smith’s garage featuring a stirring address from County Chairman Tony Libri entitled “Into the Storm; my days as a Channel 20 Weatherman.”

    Comment by Arthur Andersen Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 10:43 am

  7. I’m a die hard dem but I hope McCain pulls off the nomination. Sure, he is the one that worries the dems the most and I think he gives the GOP the best chance to keep the White House. But its worth the risk to someone like me. At least I won’t lose any sleep over what happens in November. Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, Huckabee are all nightmares. I will still support the dem nominee to the hilt but if it doesn’t happen at least I can live with McCain.

    Comment by Been There Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 10:45 am

  8. All the sniping at poor McCain
    So I see an “Andy Martin Wins!” headline atop Mother Tribune on Wednesday?
    Big early hat tip to the other Andy
    Where’s Judy When We Need Her?

    Comment by Reddbyrd Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 11:13 am

  9. McCain is a conservative, as his record clearly shows. He’s just not of the Duke Cunningham/Jack Abramoff/Earmarks “conservative” GOP-at-the-through wing that, sadly, Denny Hastert presided over.

    As far as McCain’s bipartisianship, the 2006 election ought to tell Hastert that the majority of people disagree with him on that. Pelosi and Reid beware. Time to govern.

    Comment by wordslinger Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 11:18 am

  10. Elephants have long memories. Denny can’t forget that Campaign Finance Reform slowed down his cash machine and the Dems figured out how to play the new system quicker and got the drop on the GOP. He also can’t forgive McCain for trashing the sweetheart deal with Boeing that Denny was pimping for. For all the cuddly bear analogies, Denny can be pretty vindictive. It rubbed off from all that time taking orders from Tom Delay.
    If McCain is hated by the likes of Denny, Bob Kj, Bill Cellini, and thier pals, then he’s just the guy to help move the Illinois GOP past the old guard’s way of doing business.

    Comment by Poor Richard Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 11:25 am

  11. “72% gave President Bush either an ‘excellent’ (36) or ‘good’ (36) job approval rating.”

    In related results, 72 percent of Jonestown residents thought the same about Rev. Jim, and 72 percent of lemmings thought the leader was headed in the right direction.

    Comment by Nort'sider Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 11:28 am

  12. Hastert also said Republicans could not hold the Oklahoma Senate seat when Humphreys lost the primary to Coburn. Coburn went on to win the general by twelve percent. Hastert has a habit of letting his emotions addle his public pronouncements.

    Comment by T.J. Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 11:32 am

  13. Cal Skinner should comment but I think Romney is on record for getting rid of Fitz and McCain for keeping him on.

    That there is enough for anyone concerned for Illinois.

    Comment by Bill Baar Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 11:37 am

  14. Hastert can complain - he’s out of it for a reason. McCain has it.

    For the Democrats, it is all about California. If Obama wins, he is still in the game. But if Clinton gets the support of Hispanics and with McCain pretty safe, Republicans can cross over and support Clinton too.

    If Clinton wins California, she’s got it.
    If Obama wins, then it the fight goes on.

    My bet is Clinton pulls this off and Democrats spend the rest of the year moaning about it before they fall into line.

    Comment by VanillaMan Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 11:40 am

  15. VM, not following you on Republicans crossing over and supporting Clinton. Who, when, where, why?

    Comment by wordslinger Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 11:50 am

  16. wordslinger, I think VM means that if Clinton wins the party nomination, Republicans feel she is not as strong a candidate come November, hence Republicans crossing over to vote for Clinton.

    I think Republican turnout in my area (northeastern Will County/southeastern DuPage County) will be depressed, as all the local orgs threw their weight behind Giuliani, and now that he is out, I don’t see many people lining up behind either McCain or Romney.

    Comment by Anon from BB Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 11:59 am

  17. ======Also, I can’t imagine Clinton would be advertising in New York at the expense of other states unless she was worried about losing her home state.===

    ==Nah. Most likely she’s worried about some majority-black congressional districts.

    She’s also worried about at large delegates.
    The most recent polls are at Pollster with Survey USA showing a 16% difference with Obama up to 38. PPP shows only a 12 point difference with Obama at 33. Not to mention, if he gets within 10 points in her home state, that’s a real bad narrative.

    Comment by archpundit Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 12:07 pm

  18. Honestly, who should care what Denny Hastert has to say about anything? A has-been that never should have been

    Comment by Ho-Hum Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 12:11 pm

  19. Don’t know about Romney and Fitz, but McCain is an unambiguous Yes.

    Comment by Arthur Andersen Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 12:11 pm

  20. Of course, ARG shows Clinton at 40 in Illinois. The Post-Dispatch had her at 22. The turnout models are screwing with everyone right now.

    Comment by archpundit Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 12:12 pm

  21. Wow, all this Mccain bashing sickens me. Denny Hastert, what has he done? Did they cut/reduce increses in spening in washington under his tenure? DO anything real about immigration?,

    Comment by Wumpus Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 12:12 pm

  22. Barack doesn’t have to win California to win the nomination. He just needs to pick up a good percentage of delegates there along with a few from New York. Those Repub crossovers are not going for Hillary. They will vote for the candidate of hope and change,Barack Obama, and they will support him in the general too no matter which whacko gets the R nomination. John “the bomber” McCain? Unbelievable!

    Comment by Bill Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 1:05 pm

  23. Bill,
    When the Hildabeast wins California, it will be over but for little squabbles. She will win California, New York and the majority of states Tuesday night. The deal is done.

    Where’s Bubba? He is quietly letting the clock run out as he fades into the background for Hillary to win. By Tuesday Teddy’s endorsement, Bill’s outbursts, and the mass celebrity endorsements for Barak will be forgotten.

    Start praying for a miracle this weekend, because time is not favoring Obama.

    Comment by VanillaMan Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 2:33 pm

  24. And with independants able to cross party lines to vote in the Democratic primary, Republicans who favor Hillary as their opponent will be voting for her in California, and in other states where independants can cross over.

    McCain is in. They now want Hillary to beat.

    Comment by VanillaMan Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 2:35 pm

  25. Fat Hastert (LOBBYIST! Get in mah belly!) is likely trying to keep some of his Buds out of jail.

    While no promises may be kept, McCain has promised to keep Pat Fitz. and Romney has promise to get rid of him. Call it Hastert’s “Quid Pro Combine.”

    That is why there have been so few ad buys here. The only value of IL Republican rank and file is for the nominee to vacuum the state clean and use the $$ to try to keep Ohio or Colorado in the R column.

    These are merely more indicators of the utter devastation of the IL GOP. One need only to look at the press asking the opinions of washed up hacks like Thompson, Edgar and Hastert what they think.

    It isn’t that these guys don’t matter (they don’t), it is that they have so effectively destroyed their own party that no one else in the IL GOP matters either.

    Comment by Bruno Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 2:40 pm

  26. VM-

    Don’t forget that the democrats have proportional voting. Hillary may “win” in states like CA, but Barack has the potential to take away more delegates or at least come close to splitting them. Thus, prolonging this race, and tilting the odds towards his favor with the momentum and money. (32 million this month and a 10% rise in the national polls)

    As far as the indys, why would they vote for Hillary in order to make it liklier that McCain wins the general? Seems like wishful thinking to me when Barack has been winning them over so far in droves.

    Comment by Kevin Fanning Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 2:41 pm

  27. What is John Cleese doing up there on FOXNews?

    Comment by Levois Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 3:02 pm

  28. If extraordinarily large numbers of dupage republicans take democratic ballots to vote for hillary clinton, of all people, i’ll eat my tilley winter hat.

    vm, people don’t vote that way.

    Comment by Rich Miller Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 3:34 pm

  29. To: Been there. Of COURSE you would settle for McCain in lieu of your favorite dem candidate. He was ready to jump from the Republican Party in early 2000’s plus he clearly bleeds blue! Ask any conservative!

    Comment by The audacity of it all.... Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 3:50 pm

  30. ====Audacity===. If it wasn’t for the rest of the ticket that I need to cast my democrat votes for, I would flip over to the GOP primary and vote for McCain because I don’t see anyway Obama loses in Illinois. But I won’t for the same thing that Rich said to VM. People don’t vote that way.

    Comment by Been There Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 4:05 pm

  31. As a conservative R even I recognize the fact that the pendulum has swung to the moderate to liberal side, hence Ill is now, temporarily, a blue state. The fact that McCain is really moderate and Romney perhaps a bit less no longer matters. The path back to a conservative R led Ill and Country will by necessity await the swinging of the pendulum back. I will hasten that movement by voting for McCain or Romney rather than spiting myself and my preferences by criticising either and damaging our probability of success. That is the practical course, perhaps not the principled one in the short run but so in the long term.

    Comment by A Citizen Friday, Feb 1, 08 @ 5:19 pm

  32. A Citizen, since when was fanatical opposition to government spending, opposing legal abortion and supporting privatized Social Security, “moderate?”

    McCain has flip-flopped on a lot of stuff over the years but on those core issues he is as conservative as they come.

    Comment by Angry Chicagoan Monday, Feb 4, 08 @ 9:49 am

Add a comment

Sorry, comments are closed at this time.

Previous Post: Mixed results for Sauerberg push
Next Post: Sometimes they are out to get you

Last 10 posts:

more Posts (Archives)

WordPress Mobile Edition available at

powered by WordPress.