August 17th, 2007
04:02 PM ET
11 years ago

Hastert: I will not seek another term

Watch Hastert announce he will not seek reelection Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, who stepped down from his Republican leadership post but remained in Congress when Democrats took back control of Congress in November 2006, announced Friday that he will not seek another term in 2008.

Hastert told supporters that he thought Congressional efforts to keep America safe after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks will ultimately prove to be the most important actions of the Republican-controlled Congress he helped to lead.

“On that dark day for our nation, Congressional leaders vowed to do whatever was necessary to protect our citizens from future attacks,” he said from the steps of the Kendall County Courthouse. “And, that is exactly what we did.”

Hastert’s decision to step down was not a surprise and opens up a seat in this Illinois district that is likely to be contested by Democrats.

- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Allan Hanson 2623 Julie Court Cameron Park, Ca. 95682

    Good. He was a disaster as Speaker & should cut and run. He always has that "Duh" look on his face as though he hasn't a clue, I don't think he does.

    August 17, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. I. Ritchey, Brick, New Jersey

    He was part of the problem, now we can make him part of the solution, wish we could say sorry to see you go, but we can't

    August 17, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. R.W. Olive, Boston, Mass.

    So, fat Denny Hastert is leaving Congress, you say. Gee, he got enough out of his million dollar land deal he helped put together so along with his federal pension, he's history. Other than Ted Stevens, who's more corrupt than fat Denny? I can't think of anybody.

    August 17, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Bill Pohnan, Streamwood, IL

    Good ridance.

    This guy contributed mightily to the Republican debacle of '06 by his inept handing (actually he didn't do a damn thing and that was the problem) of the congressional page scandal.

    The GOP is better with Hastert gone.

    August 17, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Steve - Peoria , IL

    Dennis Hastert has been in Congress 21 yrs. Don't we want term limits for these federal legislators????

    August 17, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. cliff jones, honolulu hi


    August 17, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  7. NANCY edwards

    THANK YOU dennis !!!!

    August 17, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |

    we are glad your not running, your to old and your ways are to old.

    August 18, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  9. Millennial

    Dennis Hastert presided over a shocking level of reckless spending and congressional corruption.

    He provided no service to our nation, save to enrich himself and enable the Chinese to purchase more of our debt to be used as leverage against us.

    Unless Mr. Hastert is willing to change, he will simply be noted as another caretaker of our completely dysfunctional and corrupt legislative branch.

    His legacy is non-existent. May he be punished severely for it.

    August 18, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    Yes it is a Great Idea to Keep America Safe, too bad the Republicans didn't actually do that. Bankrupt America, alienate our allies, stimulate more terrorism, overstretch and burn out our Military, fight the wrong war, Sure I feel safe, how about you?

    August 18, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Larry Florida

    After Newt screwed up, he became the third choice for speaker. Surprised me, I had him 33rd.

    He is the poster child for all things are possible. From wrestling coach to speaker.

    Is Fred next? Hope not.

    August 18, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. J.S. Chicago, Illinois

    So, fat Denny Hastert is leaving Congress, you say. Gee, he got enough out of his million dollar land deal he helped put together so along with his federal pension, he's history. Other than Ted Stevens, who's more corrupt than fat Denny? I can't think of anybody.

    Posted By R.W. Olive, Boston, Mass. : August 17, 2007 5:28 pm -– Now that is funny coming from an individual who resides in a state ran by Kennedys. LOL

    As for the term limit comment–this should be applicable to all elected officials not just Republicans but Democrats as well.

    As for Hastert stepping down merely say Thank you for your time and wish him well. There is no need to make fun/ jab in anyway. He was elected by the voters of his district.

    If you think being in public office is easy....get into politics yourself.

    August 18, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. xtina - chgo IL

    Reply to Millenial I take issue with "reckless spending".

    Even though the President spent a lot in the past two years it's true, the present "new Congress" is trying to get through the biggest tax increase in history (bigger than the President's recent "spree".) How do you justify that and how do you explain that?

    August 18, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  14. Ron Nebraska

    This is a good thing, all these incompetent republicans abandoning the ship can only leave room for possibly competent people to take over.

    August 18, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  15. Lyons Steve

    Gee, what a sad day. The former House leader of the "family values" Republican party, Hastert's only claim to fame will be his coverup and protection of a fellow Repub congressman who hit on and likely had affairs, attempted or otherwise, with male House pages.

    Let's all shed a tear for such a hero leaving public service!

    August 19, 2007 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  16. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    xtina ... do you normally confuse a tax increase that pays off a debt with with a spending spree that increases one? See, I too am from Chicago, yet happen to know the difference. I'd go so far as to say that MOST of us from here do – maybe even ALL of us ... except you .. of course.

    That "biggest tax increase in history" is needed to pay off some of that biggest national debt in history, our crumbling infrastructure and the roughly 73,000 bridges that need to be repaired.

    I say we help pay for those with the repeal of tax cuts for the rich and/or increasing taxes.

    How would YOU pay for those things ... besides just borrow more money from China? I know .. "fix them, but ummm ... don't you DARE take any money from ME to do it right"? LOL

    Any ideas?

    Don't worry, I already know you wont respond. You never do when one of your posts get blasted to shreds.

    August 19, 2007 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |