June 23rd, 2009
10:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Ensign apologizes to GOP colleagues for affair

Sen. John Ensign apologized to his fellow Republicans on Tuesday – less than one week after admitting to an affair with a staff member.
Sen. John Ensign apologized to his fellow Republicans on Tuesday – less than one week after admitting to an affair with a staff member.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Less than a week after admitting to an affair with a staff member, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, apologized to his Republican colleagues for his actions, which have already caused him to step down from his party leadership post and could threaten his Senate career.

"He apologized to us and his family. He said he was going to try to work to regain the confidence of his family and his colleagues," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said after the weekly Republican policy lunch in the Capitol, during which Ensign stood to speak.

On Monday night, Ensign was greeted warmly when he returned to the Senate after several days' absence dealing with the fallout from the scandal. More than a dozen senators - Republicans and Democrats - hugged him, shook his hand, or patted him on the shoulder.

"We all recognize what a painful experience this has been for him and his family and others involved. I think we just appreciated him saying how sorry he was," Cornyn said.


Filed under: John Ensign
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. gary

    Apologize to your wife and family, not to GOP.

    June 23, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Larry

    Did Bush and Cheney apologize for the Death of 4300 US Troops?

    June 23, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Terry from Texas

    Are we supposed to pretend that his remorse is sincere and that his apology is heartfelt? Should we fail to remember that the party of "Family Values" has been scolding the rest of us for 40 years because we are not as moral and as "American" as they are? Shall we pretend that the members of Congress who have not yet been caught are sexually immaculate, were virgins on their wedding day, have never slept with anyone of the same sex?

    I'm tired of humoring Conservatives as if they were my senile great grandfather. I'm tired of pretending that they make sense and that their opinions on politics are actually thought out.

    June 23, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. J.P.

    Don't worry Ensign. You just lied to your wife.

    It's not like you lied to the entire country and perjured yourself in the process, like my man Ol' Wid Bill! Go get 'em Bill! You old scalliwag you!

    June 23, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. William

    So, he can apologize to his Republican colleagues, but not to his Democratic colleagues. This, of course, makes his apology meaningless. Before he's a member of the Republican Party, he's supposed to be a member of the U.S. Senate. But, this aside, it is ridiculous that he should have to apologize to anyone other than his wife, family and the woman with whom he stepped out. It isn't anyone else's business. But this is what happens when you're a member of an elite group of hypocrites, who believe that they need to maintain the appearance on not being human. I guess he could also go into rehab to complete the standard cycle of political correctness.

    June 23, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. DawnL,CA

    Sure he's sorry. Sorry he got caught. Time's up Ensign-you screwed it up(pun intended).

    June 23, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. gt

    Old military saying , dont crap next to the flag pole....

    June 23, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Randi L.

    An affair is one thing. An affair with an employee is another thing. An affair with a married employee is yet another thing.

    Maybe he should have hired a hooker like Sen. Dufus from Louisiana and he could have avoided having the Senate ethics committee investigate him. There is an ethics committee, right? They are taking action, right?

    June 23, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Dear GOP:

    I am sorry I damaged our ability to use the sensationalized failures of Democrats in their private lives against them. I understand that our self-proclaimed moral superiority and our use of social conservatism on hot-button issues to divide up the voting market are dependent upon all members hiding their own failures more successfully. I promise not to get caught again.

    Sincerely,

    John Ensign
    Professional Moron

    June 23, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Dawn in Pa

    Reap what you say... He who lives in glass houses should not throw stones...

    apologize to your the people of Nevada...

    June 23, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. HJA

    Interesting. He had an affair got caught, apologized, and was greeted warmly . Clinton had an affair and was almost impeached. Hmmm, where's the indignation and outrage? Oh yeah he's a Republican. Sorry, I forgot.

    June 23, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. B.H.

    He should be thrown out !!

    Another GOP HYPOCRITE...

    June 23, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. mtv

    So unless you are Republican People...........he doesn't owe the people of America where Dem or Repub an apology???

    June 23, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Paul

    awww how touching the sensitivity to the pain and hurt you have intentionally caused.
    Awww how nice you now recognize your faults and disloyalty only when youve been caught.
    awwwww, what a guy.

    June 23, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Drew

    Another RNC that should get voted out of office. No, the RNC will try have him run to become President of this great country!!!!

    June 23, 2009 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  16. Alpha and Omega

    Confess your faults to man and your sins to God.

    "Go thy way and sin no more!" said Jesus to the woman whose accusers were not without sin.

    Flee sin and it won't dangle in your face!

    Enough of all the side attractions! It is time to be serious about this country's state of affairs. Let'[s face it. When we continue to move in the direction of going away from God's mandates, we fall subject to all sorts of mishaps.

    Homosexuality is not a feature of what God accepts as normal,. Yet, we flaunt it in His face. What, shall we continue in sin that the grace of God availeth? God forbid!

    June 23, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  17. Theresa

    Really, why would I even consider voting for a Republican candidate whose miserable choices are potential fodder for blackmail? Liar, liar, pants on fire!

    Being a registered Republican is no assurance that I'm willing to support a jerk who would crap on his wife. So, no sympathy for Palin or for Ensign. The GOP needs to cultivate a candidate attuned to the mainstream.

    June 23, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  18. Pat in IL

    Apologize, apologize, apologize. That's all these hypocrits do, and it means nothing except that they are trying to look accountable. I suspect this is not the first affair he has had, it's just the first one that got caught. Such an extra-marital affair is not my business, but the hypocricy and lying as something to be concerned about in a public servant. If he would lie and hide this, he's capable of the same with other issues.

    June 23, 2009 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. Todd

    As one of Limbaugh's loyal 20 million listeners ( although I haven't been able to the last few days) does any one know the talking points that the drug addicted, idealogical, double standard hypocrite – Speaking of idealogical and doublestandard hypocrites, what does Palin, Steele, Gingrich, Hannity, Coulter, Chenny have to say about Sen Resign, I mean Sen Ensign.....

    June 23, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  20. dp

    This man is only sorry he got caught . I do not believe a man is sorry for such an act . His wife on the other hand must not want to leave him because she enjoy the good life.
    Clinton sure caught heat from the Republicans when he got caught but oh must i forget he was a Democrat , and is there a difference.
    Hillary on the other hand did stay with Bill but she is a smart woman who really does not need a man to make her whole for she out there working .
    where is Mrs. Duffas at home enjoying her bon bons and good clothes and meals and the fine life so i guess i will stay with my man no matter what he does.

    June 23, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  21. LV Linda

    i have to say I am very disappointed and quite surprised by Senator Ensign's indiscretion. I respected him and believed he was representing the State of Nevada very well. He was a hopeful presidential contender, but now??? I really feel sorry for his wife, Darlene. Her pain and anquish will be with her forever and their marriage will never be the same. It's the family's business and the only apology he shoud give on his knees is to his wife. It is her life, hopes and dreams he destroyed. Men are led around by one thing.....

    June 24, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  22. renea

    Yes he did cheated he messed up but he admitted that he did by coming upfront about it and i respect that a lot. Then he goes and apoligize to his party for what he did. What get me upset is when a politician cheats and then lie about it. So i think he will bounce back.

    June 24, 2009 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  23. Mario in Texas

    Wait a minute, I thought the GOP was against anyone having some sort of empathy. I guess empathy only flies if you're a republican.

    June 24, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  24. Bob of Lompoc

    You can't deal with a man who is following his unit around. Apology, apology, he can resign now, and sgtart selling real estate or cars. You must control the unit, not the other way around, particularly if you are, for GOD'S SAKE, thinking about running for President of the United States. Rank these people by stupidity: John Ensign, John Edwards.

    June 24, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  25. David

    It never ends.

    June 24, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
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