[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/29/art.cheneyexit0529.gi.jpg caption="Cheney says the GOP bench remains strong despite the recent extramarital affairs of Ensign and Sanford.."](CNN) - Extramarital affairs have sidelined two potential Republican presidential hopefuls in recent weeks, but former Vice President Dick Cheney said the 2012 GOP bench remains strong.
"I know both of those gentlemen, I consider them friends, and I'm sorry to see them in the difficulties they're now in," said in a Washington Times radio interview Monday, according to the National Review, when asked about the recent sex scandals surrounding Nevada Sen. John Ensign and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
"But I think from the standpoint of the party, we've got some great talent out there, young people coming along that are going to do a superb job. I always remind people that in adversity, there's opportunity," Cheney added.
The former vice president specifically identified Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan of Ohio and former Utah Gov Jon Huntsman - now President Obama's ambassador to China - as potential GOP White House aspirants.
"I think that it's just a matter of time before the party begins to sort of firm up around a few key individuals, and we'll hear big things from them in the future," Cheney said.