— From NBC's Elizabeth Wilner
As the House Republican ranks fall into total disarray, the White House is keeping pretty quiet and focusing on, of all things, No Child Left Behind. President Bush offered a statement of support for Speaker Dennis Hastert on Tuesday, but his spokesperson also told reporters that Bush had not spoken with Hastert in recent days. Vice President Cheney's office isn't providing any new statements, but points to Cheney's comments to the pool reporter on his fundraising trip: "I'm a huge Denny Hastert fan - I think he's a great speaker... And it makes no sense at all for him to think about stepping down."
Meanwhile, Hastert said on Laura Ingraham's talk-radio show this morning that he did in fact tell leading conservative Paul Weyrich that he would step down for good if the scandal becomes all about him. At the same time, he suggested that it wouldn't be in the GOP's interest for their leaders to leave, making way for a Democratic sweep. "I said look it, if this thing - if this got to a point where it was all about me and I have to explain everything, yeah I'd step down. But I said, on the other hand, if I fold up my tent and leave and others have to fold up their tents and leave, that they would, uh, then where does that leave us?"