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Please begin with an informative title:

That was Dennis Hastert trying to tamp down the controversy surrounding his own ineptness during the House page scandal.

Think the anonymous smear in the Reuters story blaming Obama for Palin's daughter's pregnancy press release today is over? Folks, it's not.

Intro

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This is Dennis Hastert during the fallout of the Foley scandal:

If somebody knew of these messages and didn't come forward, they're putting kids in jeopardy...
Remember, Brian Ross said that his sources were Republican. And he broke the story, he would know. But the GOP knows they can fire up their base by blaming the Democrats.

This is what the Financial Times said in October 2006:

Mr Hastert borrowed a strategy recently employed by President George W. Bush, of shifting attention from the incident to the motivation of those behind leaking it. When parts of the National Intelligence Estimate were leaked, noting that Iraq had galvanised Islamic terrorists, Mr Bush said the leak had “political purposes”.
When there's smoke, blame the fire on the other guys. This is what Reuters let an anonymous McCain campaign staffer get away with.
The despicable rumors that have been spread by liberal blogs, some even with Barack Obama's name in them, is a real anchor around the Democratic ticket, pulling them down in the mud in a way that certainly juxtaposes themselves against their 'campaign of change,' a senior aide said.
So now we have an anonymous McCain staffer trying to tie this to Obama. Why? Because the base will just shift to blaming others instead of owning their own agenda and their impact on our country.

Is Obama going to take this sitting down and let it go unanswered? Absolutely not.

I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. So I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories.
And he follows up with an unequivocal denial.
There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us. I'm hope I'm as clear as I can be. In case I'm not, let me repeat: We don't go after people's families. We don't get them involved in politics. It's not appropriate and it's not relevant. Our people were not involved in any way in this and they will not be. If I ever thought that it was somebody in my campaign who's involved in something like that, they'd be fired.
Obama hits back just as hard. And says he'll fire anyone found spreading the rumor. I believe him. But that's not enough. Everytime someone accuses Obama of spreading this rumor, we hit them back.

Every. Single. Time.

Everyone should be monitoring the media on this one. We CANNOT let his name be muddled into this story. Any instances of the McCain camp blaming Obama for this should be answered swiftly and with force, just as Obama did today. Let's make sure the Democrats counterpunch this election cycle.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to HankNYNY on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 01:02 PM PDT.

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