FERNLEY, NEV. — Sen. John Ensign said Wednesday that his affair with a friend's wife was different from former President Clinton's relationship with a White House intern because he didn't lie about it under oath.
"I haven't done anything legally wrong," the Nevada Republican told the Associated Press in an interview.
"President Clinton stood right before the American people and he lied to the American people," Ensign said. "You remember that famous day he lied to the American people, plus the fact I thought he committed perjury. That's why I voted for the articles of impeachment."
Ensign made the remarks before being introduced to a standing ovation from about 100 people at a Chamber of Commerce lunch in rural Fernley, about 35 miles east of Reno.
Ensign opened his speech by acknowledging what he called a "distraction."
"I think it would be inappropriate to start any other way than to say I'm sorry," he said. "I've said I'm sorry. I can't say I'm sorry enough."