POLITICS
07/24/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ensign Apologizes For Affair, Gets Round Of Applause From GOP Lawmakers

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) apologized to his Republican colleagues at Tuesday's weekly conference lunch, his first meeting with them since the sex scandal that cost him his leadership position. The short speech earned Ensign a round of applause, according to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who was at the meeting.

"I think he plans to be a very good senator from Nevada," Corker said. "All I can say for sure is that it was very, very sincere, very heartfelt and very well received in our caucus. I just appreciate the way he was today, and I think everybody in our caucus does."

There were no tears from Ensign, Corker said, but "he was obviously somber and serious. And this was not a flippant thing that he did." Though Ensign didn't take any questions from GOP colleagues, Corker said, "He answered the questions I had. Today he did what he needed to do with us."

"We all recognized what a painful experience this has been for not just his family, but for all those involved," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. "We appreciated him saying how sorry he was."

Ensign did not go into much detail regarding reaction in his home state, Corker said, adding that he had little interest in those particulars.

"I don't follow it blow by blow, obviously," Corker said. "I'm not from Nevada."

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