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June 30th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How will recent GOP sex scandals affect upcoming races?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A couple of high-profile sex scandals were probably just about the last thing the Republican Party needed. This is the party of "family values," after all. First was Senator John Ensign of Nevada - who admitted to having an affair with a former staffer.

L to R: Sen. John Ensign (R-NV); Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC); Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)

Next was South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. After going AWOL for nearly a week - with staffers saying he was hiking the Appalachian Trail - Sanford admitted to an affair with a woman from Argentina. Both Ensign and Sanford had been considered 2012 presidential hopefuls.

Also, don't forget about Louisiana Senator David Vitter... who is still in the Senate despite calls for his resignation... after his phone number showed up in the records of the D.C. madam a couple years ago.

Some wonder how much damage these incidents will have on the GOP in the 2010 elections. After all, the sex scandals come at a time when the party has been trying to rebrand itself. Although Republicans certainly aren't alone in dealing with these scandals - see Democrats John Edwards or Eliot Spitzer - they do make life more difficult for the party of traditional, family values.

But, former Vice President Dick Cheney, for one, isn't too worried... he says the Republican 2012 bench remains strong. Cheney says the party has "got some great talents out there," and that "in adversity, there's opportunity." Cheney helped create the adversity the Republican party is trying to overcome.

Here’s my question to you: How much will recent Republican sex scandals affect upcoming races?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lou writes:
Maybe it will help the GOP in the long run. Somewhere along the line they started thinking they were the morality police for America. They can't claim that title anymore. If they're smart they'll go back to what Republicans once stood for: a party for smaller government and fiscal responsibility. That's a party I could come back to.

Michael from Fort Hood, Texas writes:
I think voters are upset with the hypocrisy and arrogance of the GOP, which vilified President Clinton and others for their moral failings, but has refused to acknowledge the shortcomings within its own family. The GOP has for years preached one message from the pulpit, but lived another outside of it. That will be their undoing.

Jim writes:
I think the Republicans will do just fine. With the president we have, the Democrats will cut their own throats; it's just a matter of time.

T.G. from the Virgin Islands writes:
As far as the upcoming elections are concerned, the Republican Party is done. The only way they can re-brand themselves is to throw out the label of being conservatives who represent families.

Bert writes:
Jack, It seems difficult to read how the affairs of these politicians will affect the people and election results. When Clinton’s scandal hit the news, many wanted to kill him. Then he became the highest paid and most sought after speaker for years. It seems like affairs go with the business; politicians either get amnesty or America loves drama! So you figure it out!

Lisa from Ashford, Alabama writes:
Sex scandals may be the best thing to happen to the Republican Party. It takes our mind off the fact they wasted the last eight years they were in power.

Shelby from Orlando, Florida writes:
Memory is selective and partisan loyalty is strong. The sex scandals will be forgotten in the upcoming elections.


Filed under: GOP
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Ken

    The same way they affected races with sex scandal candidates in the past. It ain't one party and not the other... historically, it's split fairly even. Although the Democrats did take it into the Oval Office.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  2. EugeneWiese Midlothian,Va.

    The recent sex scandals were very timely for the GOP because it may help eliminate some who shouldn't be cndidates. Gene

    June 30, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  3. Jim Flora

    I think the republicans will do just fine. With the President we have the democrats will cut there own throtes, it's just a matter oif time.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  4. Ken in NC

    Well without Jay Leno, I have something to laugh at during the night. The actions of some members of the GOP lend credence to the expression, "It's after dark. Do you know where your Politician is?"
    The races are going to be laughable.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  5. SB

    The GOP has been reduced to its core supporters, and they will continue to back the party regardless of scandal. These guys could kick puppies on stage and the loyal will still back them.

    SB in Chandler AZ

    June 30, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  6. saundra crosland

    It really has nothing to do with sex–Mark Sanford is one of the worst governors South Carolina has ever had.....period....look at the state of this state–if that is all the Republicans can offer then we don't need any of them. Mark is in love with this other woman-and now we know why he has not been taking care of the people of South Carolina......very sadand shame on him as a husband,father and governor--interesting that he thew the first stone and pointed fingers at others while he was doing the same thing-but probably worse !!!!!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  7. John, Fort Collins,CO

    Cheney probably knows what he is talking about. Now that all the "great Repbulican talent" are aware of all the fun they have been missing, they will be flocking to Washington so they too can get out of Dodge and cash in. The scandal may turn out to be a great recruiting tool.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  8. Randi Dennis

    The GOP and family values???Whose family....Corleone or Addams?? To be honest, they are imploding, the damage is still ongoing and they may not recover until this generation of poorly schooled polticians is either voted out or impeached through other means.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  9. Paul Musgrave

    This is exactly why I will never vote Republican. They portray themselves as being holier than thou because they oppose gay rights, yet underneath it all they're nothing more than a bunch of hypocrites. I hope evangelicals realize this in 2012: that Jesus preached more against hypocrisy than homosexuality.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  10. Helene

    Jack, Dick Cheney should have retired after the election. He's so off base that he comes off as pathetic. The family values politician is in the White House and Dick Cheney is yesterday's news. He should realize that all of his fellow Republicans are still looking for someone to lead them. Certainly he can't.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  11. Toni

    Sanford is a hypocrite. He voted to impeach President Clinton who never had sex with Lewinski. Yet, he wants an apology to suffice for all his trips to Argentina, leaving the state in the lurch and not to mention lying to his staff and his family. How could be not be around for Father's Day! This guy needs to resign and go dig a hole and pull the dirt down over him.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  12. Tim in Texas

    The problem with the GOP is not that its members do not practice what they preach. The problem is that they take upon themselves the role of preachers in the first place. Politicians who use religion (i.e. – family values, moral majority) to achieve their own political ambitions end up subverting both religious and democratic principles. Take a look at Iran for a case in point.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  13. Connie Columbus, OH

    It won't make any difference. We've got a short memory, and it's really a personal issue. I've heard so many pieces on "up and coming stars in the GOP" that it's ridiculous. At least it's getting narrowed down so that we'll know who to hate. Anyone who wouldn't vote for a political party because others with the same ideals cheat on their wives is an idiot. Unless their platform is"Cut taxes, reduce civil rights, civil services, and go out and sleep with lots of women!"

    Of course, if it hurts the pubbies, it's all for the better.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  14. Dave

    It probably won't affect the GOP too much. The party seems to have a short-term memory. My favorite moment from the GOP Convention was seeing someone on the floor interviewed wearing a "We Support Single Mothers" cap. I wonder if that person was wearing that hat 10 years ago.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  15. Judith Shade

    Jack,

    It won't impact the Republicans at all – after all. here in SC our choices are only Republican; what it will impact is the independent voters, the very ones that the GOP turned off with their selection of Sarah.

    Looks to me like she has a clear road ahead for the 2012 nomination!

    Judi,
    HHI SC

    June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  16. Jon from Tempe, Az

    If it were a Democrat that had done this it would have little effect. It is a Republican though and because they laud upon everyone how they are the party of family values and have a holier than though outlook it will effect them. They tried to impeach Bill Clinton for this now they get to have some of their own medicine.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  17. Amalor

    You have to remember, Jack, that men fooling around has been a part of "traditional family values" for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It has always been accepted to cheat on your wife, as long as you either don't get caught, or you lived in a time where men could order their wives to just "deal with it."

    June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  18. Shelby Morrison

    Memory is selective and partisan loyalty is strong. The sex scandals will be forgotten in the forthcoming elections. Shelby Morrison Orlando, FL

    June 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  19. Greg, Ontario

    Not at all. They will just get into an "Obama is doing this" and "Obama is doing that" and refuse to talk about their own numerous short comings.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  20. Simon

    The latest slew of sex scandals will probably make the Republican's chances of making any gains in 2012 even more remote. However, politics is replete with double standards, sex based and otherwise. The US political system actually needs a competent opposition party. As much as I disagree with much of what the Republican party stands for, they do need to get their act together to balance congress.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  21. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    It's gonna hurt the party of "family values" because it shows the hypocrisy of their agenda. "Do as I say not as I do".
    And, I'll bet Jack, there's more to come.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  22. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    How much? Not much. They're the party of "Do as I say, not as I do". They'll be forgiven even though they are the last to forgive a Democrat.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  23. Paul San Antonio, TX

    It isn't the sex scandals that are going to destroy the Republican party in the upcoming elections, it's the hypocrisy. Republicans have been forcing family values and overall morality on the United States for so long, that when we look behind the curtain, we see sex scandals, lying, corruption, solicitation, and pregnant teenage daughters. Enough is enough.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  24. Miguel E. from San Leandro, CA

    A person is not a party. Each individual should be held on their own merit and their political positions and their own character.

    A party should be considered on it's platform, is it inclusive? tolerant? representing the many or the few? Does the party represent the voters values?

    I know there are many people here in the USA who I am very far apart on socially, culturally, ethnically, intellectually. And they are in my party.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  25. Jim

    Jack,

    No effect at all on upcoming races. Folks are numb to this nonsense. It'll all be forgotten in a month. There may be a broader effect on the Republican Party, though, as fewer and fewer of them are able to spout the family values line with a straight face.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    June 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  26. Ed

    The problem isn't the sex–it's the hypocrisy. It's awfully hard to believe a word out of the mouths of any of these men (or those seen as connected to them, such as other GOP members), when they are clearly prepared to lie, lie, lie, right up until the moment they are caught. It's even harder to believe that this is the "party of family values," since their family values appear to include adultery and prostitution. Yes, Democrats have these problems too–but it's the Republicans who have seen fit to broadcast their market corner on morality. He who lives in glass houses...

    June 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  27. Maggie, Miami, FL

    The Grand Obsolete Party is doomed, they should all become members of the Emperor's Club, (Remember Spitzer?), and forget about 2012, anyway, world is ending on 2012 so why even bother, they rally all the time for moralism and conservatism......, but instead they should rally Pro- inmorality, that's the only thing they are good at.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  28. Annie, Atlanta

    None. They'll play it off like it's all the fault of the Democrats with huge amounts of money from people like T. Boone Pickins, and invoke family values and God , etc. Then the ignorant and unwashed will go and pull for them, against their own best interests, once again.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  29. jc

    President Bush affected the races more than any sex scandal which is why it's hard to be a Republican candidate these days. The sex scandals do nothing more than show what a bunch of hypocrits these guys are.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  30. George Brauer

    Wake up AMERICA!!!! If the citizens of this country payed as much attention to the national, financial horror that illegal immigrants have caused in the U.S. as they do politicians sex lives, we wouldn't be in this recession mess!! Let's get out of the soap opera and back to America!!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  31. JC

    Probably very little. This sort of thing was established as being ok back in the Clinton era directly in the White House. It is pretty much considered part of the political landscape anymore along with the lying, cheating, and taxation.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  32. Shreyas

    It's pointless to say that it won't affect the upcoming races, both mid-term and presidential, but the real questions remain to be answered: will members of the GOP learn to stop judging all of us before they can get their own acts together.The sex scandals are about as low as their political tactics and the American people can see this shallow facade beginning to crumble. The American people know that the days of Cheney-Rove politics are up, and the Republicans should watch how they tread for the next 8 years.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  33. John H.

    What talent? With President Obama's campaign war chest bubbling over at a billion dollars by the next election, the "Dixiecans" should wait until 2016.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  34. Steve Canada

    The more this type of stuff happens to both parties, the more it forces them to focus on real issues..Stuff like "family values" is, and has always been the most idiotic political stance ever..It almost seems like whatever party yells it the loudest, seems to claim it..Its not a political stance..I predict you will not hear a Republican utter those words again..and Dems are not much better

    June 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  35. Dawson from Minneapolis, MN

    The sex scandals will only matter if those accused run. Also the fallout doesn't last too long. An example is how much support former President Clinton was able to drum up for his wife during her presidential campaign. The real problem is the idea of monogamy. I'm voting for whoever pushes polygamy.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  36. Joseph Feng

    Mark Sanford and the other Republican adulterers should follow the example of that other well-known adulterer, John McCain: they should dump their faithful wives and marry their mistresses. That would seem to guarantee getting the nomination as the next GOP presidential candidate.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  37. shev

    I don't think it should, for the hard working republicans who are trying to make/have a good name, it shouldn't effect them. but as for those who are hurting the party, it obviously will effect them. people should be smart, and not hurt those who never did anything.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  38. James, Charlotte NC

    It's evident with history as our example, sex scandals always bring the party, in which, it happens down. To bring the GOP down any further will make them extintic. Jack we are now in search for a GNP (Grand New Party).

    June 30, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  39. toni alston

    jack first of all i have to say your the man! CNN is the only newschannel that speaks the truth as it really is! noew in response to your question lets face it the GOP is in the dog house! and its going to take a lot begging for them to ever make a comeback! and it will affect the election in 2012 its time for the gop to get a new message and stop being so pompous! get off the high horse your party sucks! if this is the best yiu have to offer for 2012{ sanford,palin} themn president obama will win by a landslide! oh, wait a minute.... he did win by a landslide when he beat mccain!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  40. Jenna

    How much will recent Republican sex scandals affect upcoming races?

    The Republicans are TOAST. They can hardly tout themselves as the party of Family Values. Not only are they being caught with their pants down left and right, they also refuse to find fault with those that do (unless of course they are Democrats)

    The Democrats have never claimed to be the party of Morals, they claim to be human.

    The Republican are hypocites and the right wing fringe won't stand for it.

    These guys can't hide behind their Bibles for long..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    June 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  41. Garrett

    There will be little to no affect. Under their watch we have lost jobs, retirement savings, stability, trust of other nations, etc. Then when a plan comes to ease our sufferings, they do all they can to stand in the way. They have lost our trust long before they have lost their discretion.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  42. Mark,,,in Houston

    On a local level.....probably not much, considering the voter base.

    On a national level...they are toast.. Their pompus verbal displays about, conservative Christian family values has been blown apart by the evidence of their behavior.

    Sorry Republicans, I cant hear you anymore because of your actions.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  43. Sidney P from Dallas

    Not nearly as much as it should. I mean after all Rush Limbaugh blames President Obama for Mark Sanford's recent problems. And you know what, there are probably a lot of people who will believe him. It just strikes me as very funny, the party of family values.....they just wish. They make me sick to my stomach.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  44. Mike in Louisiana

    The GOP is dead. They hitched their horse to the church and came up a bunch of sinners. The democrats sin, but they don't pretent to be saintly about it. The church needs to get out of politics. The GOP needs to get out of the church. And Sen. Vitter and the rest of them need to resign.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  45. Shawn

    With a party already suffering this much bad press, these guys certainly aren't doing the GOP any favors. My question is, if they aren't even capable of being faithful to their wives and families, how can we expect them to be faithful to the tax payers?

    June 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  46. martha nolley

    everyone knows cheney, george w,. rumsfeld, rove and bandits could not tell the truth to the american public about anything. now we know where they really live despite making the rich super rich and decimating the middle class.....they are hypocrites of the worst kind....liars of the worst kind and incredbly high on themselves!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  47. Bill

    If there is anything I really, really, hate to admit it would be Cheney is
    probably correct. By the time the Democrats are done trying to add
    20 million illegal aliens to the rolls of citizens who can't find a job,
    or barely afford to survive, just so they can improve their vote count, the
    Republicans could be in an ideal position if they play their cards right.
    Oh, by the way, the Republicans do have to find someone who might be honest, loyal to his wife, and shows some compassion for the citizen.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  48. Stefan, Philadelphia

    It Won't

    June 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  49. Gordon Miller

    Republicans don't have a monopoly on infidelity, but lately they seem to be the best at insincerity. I have always been a Republican but now I just say I'm a conservative who would support anyone who shows me real efforts to exercise common sense in the federal budget and government policies without pork barrel spending and sanctimonious philosophies.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  50. Raul

    Of the democrats, besides Edwards and Spitzer, let's not forget McGreevy, Villaraigosa and Newsom. I don't vote for a party, I vote for a candidate, and when the time comes I will decide who is the best person for the job.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  51. Sandra - Illinois

    I make my decisions based on each candidate's ability and values, but as of late it seems the GOP have had their share of "complete idiots," men who puts their sexual needs ahead of their family and those they are supposed to lead. Right now, I don't see any Republican who can come even close to leading us. Maybe these last two Republicans think they are above all and just couldn't get caught, but those days are over. Listen up, we are tired of all the high and mighty talk and want actions that show us you are "intelligent, honest, not sleazy" as Jack says, and have your head on straight. I have had enough of Cheney, who I always admired until the last eight years, and the likes of Palin,etc.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  52. Karl from SF, CA

    Future elections will reflect the 20% of GOP followers that vote on command without a thought to giving it a thought. They are the hypocrites and the real talent Cheney talks about are the moderates that gag at the thought of Dick Cheney. There will eventually be a new GOP that leaves the conservative base of today to flounder for itself but it will take time and the Democrats will reign until then.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  53. Chesley Dohl

    Jack.

    It would seem to me that these events will not HURT the GOP, but, might actually serve to assist the party in building a brand of common, normal, everyday citizens facing the same issues, infidelities, experiences and hardships as any other person in the world–party affiliation, exempt...

    Let's take a look back: When BILL CLINTON, as acting President, proceeded to act on indiscretions with Monica Lewinsky, it seemed many people just sat back and said, "Wow, look at him. He's human...this is a forgivable act." With regard to the majority, few seemed to care. The episode blew off, and what was left was more EMPATHY for Clinton than contempt.

    The turnoff, for me, a former registered Republican, is that I could no longer see myself following the values and ideology of a "HOLIER THAN THOU" party. A degree of distrust, contempt and hipocrosy grew, within many, when the leaders of the GOP spoke a fine "tale" and lived another–all so evident in the lives of Rush Limbaugh, George W. Bush, Ted Stevens, etc...

    I'd like to see a more CONTRITE, HUMAN Rebuplican party evolve in the wake of what's happened to the GOP in the past decade. It's time to regroup and pull it together.

    I'm always for the underdog, Jack. I like to see character and strength emerge in any rebuilding process.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  54. B Edwards

    These scandals will have no impact at all. First, the Republicans involved are hardly household names and the fact that they wont be running for president anytime soon is no different than someone deciding not to run for office. Second, the notion that a sex scandal for a Republican is hypocrisy but isn't hypocrisy for a Democrat is actually the true definition of hypocrisy (i.e. the blatant double standard of the left). In reality these scandals make these Republicans the very type of people that Democrats embrace...they now can become stars in the Democrat party.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  55. Denise

    For the Republicans to claim to be the party that holds up "family values" I see it being a hard sell in the next election. I honestly believe there will be more between now and the next election.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  56. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    I remember the Repubs that ran in 2008 and the sex scandals about both of them. They were running for higher offices than this. I hope the Repubs. have the same luck this time. If the Christian Right think this is the right way to live, I don't think so, they better read their Bible.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  57. B Edwards

    The fact that the media only found out this week that Sandford had an affair for over a year with a woman his wife found out about half a year ago coupled with the fact that Sandford and his wife are separated is hardly a scandal. I've never known a person that was separated that didn't have a relationship with someone else before the divorce was final. Stop pretending this is a big deal only because Sandford is a Republican.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  58. Carmen-Palmdale, CA

    This latest Republican Scandal is proof that the party of No, the party of 'the selected' and the party of Small has just become a churning Mud Pit of stupid people. The Repubican party needs to just go away, never to be heard from again. Get rid of all of them so we can clean up their mess and restore this country to what it was meant to be.
    Carmen, Palmdale, CA

    June 30, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  59. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Hopefully it will make a big impact. These politicians were so outspoken with their demands for resignation etc for others who
    made mistakes, touting family values and thumping the bible,
    as much of the republican party does.
    Is it any different for the ones who have a do as I say, not as
    I do mentallity, hiding behind religion, then us so called "sinners"?
    The hypocrasy never ends.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  60. Judith

    No big deal! Today I went to the mailbox and their was nothing but junk which took energy and paper unneccesarily.

    Judith
    New Hope, VA

    June 30, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  61. carol hamilton

    GOP motto: We, the righteous, holier than thou sanctimonious hypocrites are the only ones allowed to be adulturers without being impeached!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  62. Dale,,,IOWA

    Same Old Same Old as people say around this part of the state, All so its" do as I say and not as I do",. My make on most politicians,, you weed out all the hypocrites,, or holy-er then thou"s and people that will not compromise,, . 8 years max ,same as the POTUS,, no career politicians.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  63. Jeff - Voorhees, NJ

    Jack, if Social Conservatives did not ardently preach family values and sanctity of marriage, this would not be such a big issue within the party, and plenty of Democrats would say "We're all human and we all make foolish mistakes, and we're all willing to change for the good." However, they do preach this, and go by "Do as I say, not as I do," ignoring the basic rule of marriage fidelity: don't lie and cheat. Doesn't matter if you're same sex or not, you don't lie and cheat behind your partner's back.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  64. Glen, Greensboro, NC

    I think our last president and vice president did enough damage to negatively "affect" Republicans for years to come. My suggestion is to recognize that complaining about the "liberal" media is not going to help. They don't want to admit it, but they'll make you or break you.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  65. Windsway in Pinehurst, NC

    Jack:

    The Republicians are not more holy than Democrats. Those who have engaged in misconduct should not be elected or re-elected. Unlike the media, most thinking people vote for the individual, not the party. Few voters can tell you what a party platform is, so they have become less and less important. But that is why the talking heads are really dangerous to those who they oppose. They influence the voter who does not seek independent information. For that reason, I suspect that Republicans will continue to find it difficult to win national races in the next two elections.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  66. Mountain Dude

    Jack,

    The pure hypocrisy of the GOP is going to be an issue. They judged and they will be judged. The GOP has no fiscal conservative claims that hold water and the wide spread philandering shows they have no religious conservative values themselves. They set the table and painted the GOP as a party of greed, war and lies through their own actions not their false words.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  67. Larry

    With 2 unpopular wars and unprecedented deficits that began in 2001 the American people started speaking their minds about the Republicans in 2006.

    People like Cheney, Gingrich and Limbaugh running their mouths over the last several months haven't helped their cause

    It will be interesting to see if the Republican party even stays intact over the next couple years. They have done so much damage to themselves.

    The sex scandals are just icing on the cake to get them out of places of authority.

    Larry
    Cincinnati, OH

    June 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  68. Pete

    Those in glass houses shouldn't throw bibles!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  69. James Stinson

    It might actually help the Republicans. Now that they have turned from " waterboarding" to "hosing" Argentines the Cheney/Limbaugh crowd will love them even more. It proves that the GOP leadeship is state-of-the-art when it comes to foreign "affairs."
    James Stinson
    Richardson, TX

    June 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  70. Mark at Nellis

    Well the Dems took it to the oval office with JFK and WJC, the slick Catholic Irishman and Slick Willey! The Reps can't top that.
    Mark

    June 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  71. Andrew

    Suprising... Another politician well educated in the field of HIPOCRACY!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  72. Ben

    No, "It's the economy, stupid" the GOP will take back some lost ground because in my humble opinion the unemployment will still be over 10 percent, come election 2010.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  73. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    Not much; the real tell tale factors that will affect the 2010 & 2012 nominations for both parties will be whether they helped to damage the country's economy, voted for raising taxes, forced the loss of jobs and more. That includes the majority of Congress. People voted for Obama to get "change", well 2010 we'll get it and it will be sweeping in so many ways.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  74. Dolores Wolfe

    Republicans personify this quote from Rochefoucauld...."Hypocracy is the homage that vice pays to virtue."

    Dolores
    New York

    June 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  75. Mitzie - Georgia

    If this were simply a Republican problem I would say it hurts the party. However, we all know that filandering is bi-partisan. My hope is that this will change the political debate from that of "family values" and who is more "American" or more "patriotic" to debates on real issues.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  76. Stan N

    It was the last campagne issue Republicans could even try to use to run in 2010 and 2012. So much for that– Einsign, Sandford, and Vitter hightlight the hypocracy of the Republican party. And after 12 years of Republican controlled congress and 8 years of Republican controll of the white house, they can spin the damage they have done to our nations image abroad, and domestically at the speed of light but they'll never succeed in dodging the responsibility they have for this mess.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  77. Melissa

    Of course it will. The GOP are making themselves look worse and have every single week since Obama's election. Its always another scandal. They are doing it to themselves.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  78. Jim from Fort Worth

    None at all. It's all the past exposure of curruption in the form of bribes for political/personal agendas that hurt them. The sex scandels actually make them look human for a change instead of the clean cut, all righteous, lead by example(but without the example) fakes we know them to be. People don't care as much for their elected leaders making bad relationship decisions in their off time compaired to when they make bad leadership and lawmaking decisions on our time. Half their time is their's, the other is ours...... And they've made plenty of mistakes on our time.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  79. Kari

    Directing attention to unimportant members of the Republican party will hopefully keep us from paying attention to the most important member of the Democratic party. Obama has broken many of his campaign promises (including things he condemned McCain for like taxing healthcare benefits) on his way to bankrupting the economy. The party that reaaly needs to fear the next election is clearly the Democrats.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  80. Stellar

    I don't beleive it will affect the upcoming ellections. For one thing, I think it is funny that people think it is a suprising that these politicians have affairs. The first thing that came to mind when Gov. Sanford went missing was that he was with his mistress, i even post it on the CNN blog the day before the announcement. One of the criteria for being a politician regardless they Democrat or Republican is having a mistress or a side piece.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  81. American Dream

    Sex and money is what drives American politics. Do what you please but don't get cought. They are all the same Democrats or Republicans makes no difference. Politicians are doing what they want and they can care less about the country. America has been on the decline since Abraham Limcoln and now we, like the British have hit rock bottom. As sad as it is, but China knows what they are doing and they will eventually rile the world, not America.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  82. Bradley Ross

    It will affect the race in that it will force the Republican party to change the type of presentation they make. Trying to paint Republicans as moral and God-fearing while claiming that Democrats are evil will probably backfire with the independents and will lose power with the Republican base.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  83. Sue from Redwood City

    Unfortunately it probably won't affect the "Party of Hypocrisy" enough.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  84. Ron in TX

    I believe our country is in BIG TROUBLE. We are falling fast; just like the Roman Empire did. We will die the same way; from internal decline, not invasion. This country had better their get their ethics (morals) in line fast or the end will be here quickly.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  85. Fran from Atlanta

    The scandals won't have any affect on anyone who never bought into the Republicans' claims of family values / religious virtue in the first place, knowing these claims were made for the votes they would bring. Most of us realized Republicans were no more – or less -devoted to their families, and no more – or less – pious than the Democrats or Independents or anyone else. That said, those who actually aligned themselves with the Republicans because of what they thought was their moral superiority must be having a few second thoughts. Except for that core group, of course, whose minds are made up – don't try to confuse THEM with facts.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  86. Aaron

    I doubt enough GOP supporters will change their ways after the latest scandals. For years now it's been a party hiding behind hypocrisy, manufacturing fear in the majority about the minority. Example- they can demonize love between two men or women, but still get their brainwashed constituents to support their disgusting and dishonest personal lives and selfish political agendas. Affairs and guns for everyone. It's what Jesus wants apparently.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  87. David

    I don't think it will Jack. The moral majority want to live their lives in denial. The GOP has a history of this. They still think that Ronald Reagan despite his triple deficits was the best thing that ever happen to America and condemns Jimmy Carter as was the worst President. They will never get it Right. Politics seem to be all about the them and the Democrats are spineless. God help us!!!!!!

    David
    Las Vegas

    June 30, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  88. Joe C

    The sex scandals will have very little impact on the future GOP nominations and races. If Obama's administration fails and the people are "frustrated enough", the GOP will have a chance. We have to remember, sex scandals have been with us since the early years of our country. (Republicans and Democrats) Politicians had affairs in the past and will continue to have affairs. The only difference now is it's much easier to get caught and the media will not let us forget.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  89. Terry from Illinois

    Republicans have sent America down the wrong road the last 8 years of Bush II, deficits from 2 wars and good paying jobs outsourced from America.
    The last election was indication of majority of Americans understanding that and Republicans like Governor Sanford continue to be an example of the Republican problems. Until Republicans stand up for working Americans which includes American women and their choice for pregnancy, Republicans will be the Minority Party !!!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  90. pete

    Why is this a big deal? Someone's private life is their own, let them and their families deal with it. The infidelity and divorce rates are so high overall in this country, why is it that everyone jumps up on the grandstand and starts spewing moral testimonies everytime a politician messes around? Lame.........

    June 30, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  91. Sue

    Yeah, right!! They'll just be more secretive, devious BUT these power mongers will NEVER get enuf – of ANYTHING!!! Except, of course, our $$$ to help them on their Merry-go-rounds!!!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  92. Jeff in Sims, NC

    It doesn't matter Jack. They are all dirty in some way, shape or form. Some cheat on their spouses and others are bought and paid for.

    To bad a decent common man can't run for high office and win, and don't tell me he can because it takes millions of dollars and the common man just doesn't have it and a good and decent man/woman can't be bought.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  93. Joan from Michigan

    let us looked at the sex sandels in politics in my time starting with Franklin Roosavelt, John Kennedy and Bill Clinton. All presidents. And by the way they were all democrats.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  94. Joe Massey

    Abstinence and fidelity dont always work out. Let's start talking about reducing abortions by funding contraceptive delivery like they do in leading European countries. Maybe we wont have to deal with the high horses on morality anymore this century.
    dr joe

    June 30, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  95. Matt York

    Less people will vote.
    More wives will worry about the whereabouts of their husbands.
    Some children will become fearful about their father's honesty.
    More men will believe that they are justified in the thought of infidelity. Less of us will believe in heroes.
    Many will doubt the virtues of any politician.
    Less single women will be excited about marriage.

    Lots of losers and just a few winners (for a few moments).

    June 30, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  96. Chaz

    Nice anti-republican slant as usual. But sex and powerful people (politicians) have always gone hand in hand. Democrats and Republicans.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  97. Dwight, San Diego

    I'm glad to see that my comment is not longer being "moderated." It simply vanished altogether. Try this again:

    Something that is being overlooked and I would like to know why the MSM hasn’t picked up on it. Governor Sanford is an Air Force Reservist. So my question is, since the military is so quick to judge and boot people out of the armed forces for violating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue (the military actually violated the Don’t Pursue accommodation in Fehrenbach’s case), where is the call for a court-martial hearing on Sanford’s violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice? Under Article 134 Adultery is a military crime which carries a penalty up to dishonorable discharge, a fine and 1 year in jail. A local San Diego soldier was sentenced to 90 days in jail back in January of this year for violating Article 134. Sanford has already admitted to have had adultery, so I would like to know if the Air Force is looking into this matter.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  98. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, I can't see the scandals making any difference. The miscreants will not run again and the party loyalists will think that their man who is running will be a pure as driven snow.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  99. J.C.

    I don't think so. People don't have good memory in this country.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  100. Garry

    Here's a thought: WHO CARES?! I'm sick and tired of hearing about every single aspect of the personal lives of these people. How about instead we start hearing about their voting record, lawmaking intentions, or hell, even their upcoming law proposals?

    Politicians are nothing more than professional lawmakers, and professionals are paid to serve their employer (that's us, by the way). We have better ways to gauge our employee's performance than monitoring their bedroom.

    I'm a pretty liberal Democrat, and I don't care where these people failed their wives or their families (that is their private business), I care about where they failed their employer.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  101. Chris in San Francisco

    Hopefully it will temper the arrogant, holier than thou stance of the Republican candidates. Let's focus on the issues and not "family values".

    June 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  102. Steff

    It makes no difference if its Republicans or Democrats being caught in their illicit sex scandals, we need to concentrate on what is happening to this country under the leadership of Obama. Any congressman that would pass a bill without reading it is insane.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  103. matt.benzor san bernardino,ca

    The G.O.P = WHITE WASHED WALLS there all fake's and frauds.Jesus talks about them in the gospel of matthew and he calls the white washed walls.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  104. teacheng

    Well, it's hard to see how much lower the Republican party can go!

    Still, it is consistently frustrating that those who are 'holier than thou' are consistently less than holy.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  105. Mark Manz

    Jack

    It takes a hypocrite to vote for a hypocrite, I think the Democrats jump the fence depending on who they see as a better fit for the country.

    The Republicans speak hypocrite Vote hypocrite and wont even stand to get these hypocrites out of office.

    So if you ask a Republican NO it wotn effect em, if you ask a Democrat YES it will

    Mark M
    San Francisco CA

    June 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  106. Tom Gallub

    the GOP, and their conservative base, are so used to the "do as I say and not as I do" philosophy that there probably will be no effect at all. If you, Jack, were caught sauntering down 5th avenue in a mini skirt they would be on you like an ant on a snickers bar. But let a GOP'er try it and the effect would be negligible. These people are only interested in regaining power. They would support Hitler if it meant winning the election.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  107. Tim Cooper

    Yes, the Sanford scandal will affect upcoming races, and here's how: I think Mrs. Sanford will seek the Republican nomination to stand as a candidate for POTUS in 2012.

    Has anybody noticed that the statement she released and the comments she has made perfectly promote her political interests? She has appropriated the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Job as she cleverly sets herself up as a martyr and skewers her husbands career.

    I wish the governor every happiness in his relationship with his Brazilian soul mate. And I wish Mrs. Sanford every success as she uses this incident to launch her own political career. Her experience as a political operative (she had a senior position in the governor's campaign) and her well developed sense of self will make her a formidable candidate.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  108. Rob in Atlanta

    What social conservatives really need to realize is that by backing candidates who profess to "share their values" they are only encouraging immoral men who thirst for power to lie.

    Of course a dishonest man would lie about his faith, morals, and attitudes to gain access to power and easily seduced staffers.

    Democrats may not be any better, but at least they are forthright and don't claim any moral superiority. I would rather have an honest but flawed president than a liar who does despicable things in the dark and pleads 'God and Country' by day.

    If we were all honest we'd have to admit that adultery is a FAR greater threat to families than homosexuality could ever become. Of course if you're waist deep in it, how can you run against it?

    June 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  109. Mark in Arkansas

    Republicans have a short memory. What was the question again?

    June 30, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  110. ripcurl

    The party of family values. They will gather around Palin like lost puppies. They say Romney but he is not a Christian so it will be Palin, and this is good.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  111. Jeffrey

    How much will recent Republican sex scandals affect upcoming races?

    It will affect the Republicans very profusely, just like they did for the Democrats in the 1990s, 1 example being Pres. Clinton. But while it happens to both parties, the reason it hits the Republicans harder than the Democrats is that the Republican Party has branded itself the party to be the party of traditional family values and of morality. It had adopted a "Holier than Thou" stance on just about everything.

    This, in my opinion, would be the biggest sense of hypocracy. Often times, they make the biggest stink out of anyone doing something "immoral" and when they do it, it's as if they had a minor lapse in judgement and give themselves nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

    Interestingly enough, Jack, I've noticed that whenever the Republican Party is in power, corruption seems to go up. Take a look over the past 8 years, it's a perfect example of what I'm saying.

    Jeffrey
    San Francisco, CA

    June 30, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  112. JP

    I wish it would be seen as a teachable moment: If Sanford and Ensign can still perform their jobs, there should be no ill consequences. They didn't do anything illegal (Vitter may have). The problem is in the hypocrosy of campaigning on family values, which has little to do with governing, will cause them to not get re-elected. The teachable part is that their party needs to stop being in the business of religion and get in the business of governing. Stop voting for people like GWB, and start voting for people who know what they are doing. I'm not republican, but I would be willing to vote for one who can make a case for good government, and who doesn't act like a 10-year-old bratty child in a war of words (like Limbaugh, Bachman, Coulter, Beck, Palin). I can only name 2 or 3 republicans who actually act mature: Pawlenty, Romney, maybe McCain and maybe Huckabee.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  113. Sam

    It matters. They aborted their holy vows of marriage and did it repeatedly while all the while piously mocking others for the very same sins. Cast them out.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  114. Pam

    Oh come on Jack. Infidelity in politics is as mundane as it is in the private sector. The only sector of society that cares is the opposing political party.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  115. Bruce

    They are all lacking morals. Ignore the sex, and see if they read the bills they pass.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  116. Susan, Sequim WA

    Jack, consider this: None of the female public officials in either party are getting into sex scandals. NONE! (Not even Sarah Palin!) We women are getting sick of men who have such low self control that they cannot keep their pants zipped! Men like that shouldn't be running the country! Maybe the GOP should start looking for some female candidates if they want to win races. I'm just sayin'!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  117. Gary from NEPA

    The Democrats seem to do okay with it.Hopefully it works well for Republicans also.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  118. babs in california

    Dear GOP,
    This is what happens when you fail to focus on your own family.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  119. lj schurmeier

    I think these things are local and will not affect national elections. I doubt if they will even overshadow the elections in the states where they occurred. A lot more is going to be riding on the economy...

    June 30, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  120. Louis in GA

    Absolutely. The GOP is imploding before our very eyes. I'm a Democrat and can't bear to watch. Talk about a train wreck!

    June 30, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  121. Kay in Tulsa, OK

    Why would anyone believe that these sex scandals might effect the Republican voters? If Republicans do it, its a mistake... we all make mistakes, and God forgives. This is the same group, however, that sent Ken Starr on a witch hunt resulting in Clinton's impeachment. Obviously, God doesn't forgive Baptists. This is the same group that continues to embrace a limited policy of teaching abstinence only... even after their hero Palin's unwed daughter proved the futility of such a ludicrous policy. The hypocrisy and double standards of the Republican party never cease to amaze me.
    Kay B-R.. Tulsa, OK

    June 30, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  122. Steve

    The American public has such a short memory that all of the sex scandals we are talking about today will be forgotten by September, if not earlier. The only way this will affect the elections in 2010 is if there is a continued string of sex scandals for one party or the other.

    June 30, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  123. Andy G.

    The Republicans are solidifying their stance on anti-gay issues by concentrating on heterosexual scandas, unlike the past election cycle.

    June 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  124. Julius, Moose Jaw, SK, Canada

    GOP–the party of hypocrites....

    June 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  125. Ben at Brunswick

    His extra-marital sexual encounters are his personal business. But the fact that he left his office is being irresponsible. He should be impeached.

    June 30, 2009 at 6:04 pm |