08/14/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McConnell Distances Himself From Scandal-Ridden Ensign

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) is mired in a sex and corruption scandal that, in his own understated terminology, has been "not good." Having been caught paying hush money through his parents to his former mistress, the wife of a former staffer, he faces an uphill climb for reelection. Yet he has decided to seek it anyway.

He'll do so without the robust support, it appears, of Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

McConnell was asked by a reporter after lunch with colleagues Tuesday if he'd be supporting Ensign in his quest for reelection.

"Well, I think Senator Ensign will have to speak to those issues himself. And you can ask him about it," he said.

So we did, but an Ensign spokesman (quite logically) referred us back to McConnell's office, which declined to comment further.

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