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Hastert endorses Tiahrt

By Steve Kraske

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert today endorsed Congressman Todd Tiahrt for the U.S. Senate in Kansas.

In doing so, Hastert overlooked another former GOP colleague, Jerry Moran, the western Kansas congressman who’s seeking the same Senate seat.

Hastert called Tiahrt “a man of his word” and said “you can be sure he will be there for you when the job gets difficult. Todd does not run and hide when faced with difficult decisions. When the pressure is on, he faces the challenge and does the right thing with his constituents' best interests in mind.”

Hastert had what appeared to be less than kind words for Moran in his 2004 book Speaker: Lessons From 40 Years in Coaching and Politics.

In the book, Hastert took on an unnamed Republican for not voting for the Medicare prescription drug bill.

“Some members had assured me that they would be with us, but when the crunch came, they weren’t,” Hastert wrote. “One prairie state member, a fourth-term representative from a solidly Republican district, voted no, then ran and hid.”

Moran didn’t deny he was the member in question. But he insisted then that he neither ran nor hid, and he said he opposed the bill, despite enormous pressure, because it was poor law.

“I cast these odd-man votes from time to time,” he said. “I hear the criticism as indecision, but to me it’s another example of trying to do what’s right.”