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Hannity Reluctantly Calls On Ensign To Resign

By Matt Corley on June 23, 2009 at 12:30 pm

"Hannity Reluctantly Calls On Ensign To Resign"

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On his Fox News show last night, Sean Hannity touted a poll showing that Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), who admitted to an affair with a campaign staffer last week, has a higher favorability rating than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “Ensign remains more popular than another Nevada politician whose popularity is remarkably low,” said Hannity.

In the next segment, however, Democratic strategist Bob Beckel called out Hannity for seemingly “defending John Ensign” despite being “a big family values guy.” “Here’s a guy that cheats on his wife, not just with somebody, but somebody on his staff who’s married. Now what do you think?” asked Beckel. Hannity reluctantly admitted that he thinks such behavior warrants a resignation:

BECKEL: Excuse me. Excuse me for a second, Mr. University Prager. I want — I want him to answer this question.

HANNITY: My answer is, if you’re going to be a family-values candidate and a family-values politician, and you don’t live up to that, I think you should resign.

BECKEL: Well…

HANNITY: I don’t know where he stands.

When Beckel said he wanted to “let the record show that that you called for John Ensign to resign,” Hannity tried to hedge his words again, saying “I don’t know where he stands on the issues.” Watch it:

Hannity claims to not know where Ensign stands on “family values” issues, but as ThinkProgress has pointed out, Ensign has previously positioned himself as a protector of “the institution of marriage.”

In 2007, Ensign called on then-Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) to resign after he in an airport men’s restroom on disorderly conduct charges, but he declined to call for Sen. David Vitter’s (R-LA) resignation after he acknowledged an affair involving prostitution. In July 2007, Hannity said that Vitter should resign as well.

Transcript:

BOB BECKEL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Can I just speak to what you did in this segment here for a second?

HANNITY: You can do whatever you want.

BECKEL: You go to this thing with John Ensign, right, about Harry Reid. He’s more popular than — now, this is a guy — you’re a big family values guy. Here’s a guy that cheats on his wife, not just with somebody, but somebody on his staff who’s married. Now what do you think? Are you defending John Ensign?

HANNITY: That sounds like a liberal Democrat to me.

BECKEL: That was good.

DENNIS PRAGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Wait, wait, wait. What does have it to do with…

BECKEL: Excuse me. Excuse me for a second, Mr. University Prager. I want — I want him to answer this question.

HANNITY: My answer is, if you’re going to be a family-values candidate and a family-values politician, and you don’t live up to that, I think you should resign.

BECKEL: Well…

HANNITY: I don’t know where he stands.

BECKEL: Oh, he’s big.

HANNITY: But with that said, it is interesting that Harry, you know, Prince Pelosi, Prince Harry and Princess Pelosi. His ratings are lower than the guy that had an affair.

BECKEL: All I’m saying is let the record show that that you called for John Ensign to resign.

HANNITY: I don’t know where he stands on the issues.

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