Those headlines of Bush’s support for Denny…not so much so. From today’s late afternoongaggle
Q Has the President spoken with Hastert at all in the last couple days?
MS. PERINO: To my knowledge, he has not.
Q Why has he not spoken with Denny Hastert, and also, what are his feelings about some of these calls for the Speaker’s resignation over this?
MS. PERINO: I think you heard from the President today, in which he said that he wants to know all the facts, and he knows that the Speaker wants to know all the facts; the Speaker called for the investigation, the President supports that and one is underway. And solet’s let that play out.
Q Just so we’re clear, the President didn’t bring up the resignation. What’s the White House position on Hastert resigning at this point, absolutely not?
MS. PERINO: What I said is, you should look at what the President said, is that he wants to have all the facts; he would appreciate — that Speaker Hastert wants to have all the facts. There’s an investigation underway, solet’s let that play out.
Q But that doesn’t sound like you’re backing Speaker Hastert a hundred percent against resigning.
MS. PERINO: I think you heard from the President today as a voice of support for Speaker Hastert and that there’s an investigation underway, and we’ll let that investigationplay out. (emphasis mine)
And from theNYT
Though Mr. Bush stopped short of saying explicitly that he wanted Mr. Hastert to keep his job, White House officials said the president wanted to return the loyalty Mr. Hastert had shown the administration. But they said the White House was resigned to more political damage as the Foley case played out no matter what Mr. Bush and the House leadership might do or say.