Tony Perkins on Ensign Affair: 'Sense of Hypocrisy' Around GOP

Perkins says the Nevada senator's affair explains "why the Republicans are having trouble."

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

Nevada Sen. John Ensign's admission of an extramarital affair deals yet another blow to the GOP's family values image. Here's what Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said about the affair last night on MSNBC (you can watch the clip above, starting at the 10-minute mark):

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It's disappointing. It really is. I think that's why the Republicans are having trouble and have had trouble over the last three years with many voters is because there is a sense of hypocrisy.... If you're going to champion those issues you've got to live by a higher standard. I think all public servants to be faithful to their vows of marriage. I can't imagine why voters would think politicians would be faithful to them if they're not faithful to their spouse.

A quick recap of recent admitted and alleged GOP sex scandals:

  • Louisiana Sen. David Vitter admitted to a "very serious sin" in 2007 after his name was linked to a prostitution ring.
  • Idaho Sen. Larry Craig resigned in 2007 after his arrest in a Minneapolis airport men's room, though Craig denied wrongdoing.
  • Florida Rep. Mark Foley resigned from the House in 2006 after revelations that he'd sent lewd text messages to congressional pages.

Like Vitter, Ensign is sticking around the Senate, creating a new political target for Democrats. The Louisiana Democratic Party is already calling on Vitter, a deputy whip, to follow Ensign's lead in resigning his leadership post.