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Dick Cheney: Questions about Lesbian Daughter "Out of Line"

Wolf Blitzer talked to VP Dick Cheney in an interview that aired on The Situation Room today, and at the end of the interview asked about Dick's lesbian daughter Mary. Dick wasn't too happy about that:


Q We're out of time, but a couple of issues I want to raise with you. Your daughter Mary, she's pregnant. All of us are happy. She's going to have a baby. You're going to have another grandchild. Some of the -- some critics, though, are suggesting, for example, a statement from someone representing Focus on the Family:

"Mary Cheney's pregnancy raises the question of what's best for children. Just because it's possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father, doesn't mean it's best for the child."

Do you want to respond to that?


Q She's obviously a good daughter --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I'm delighted -- I'm delighted I'm about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf, and obviously think the world of both of my daughters and all of my grandchildren. And I think, frankly, you're out of line with that question.

Q I think all of us appreciate --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think you're out of -- I think you're out of line with that question.

Q -- your daughter. We like your daughters. Believe me, I'm very, very sympathetic to Liz and to Mary. I like them both. That was just a question that's come up and it's a responsible, fair question.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I just fundamentally disagree with your perspective.

The full transcript of Cheney's interview, in which he also dismissed as "hogwash" notions that mistakes made in the Iraq war may have hurt his and the administration's credibility, can be found at the TPM Muckraker.

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  1. Andrew Sullivan hits the nail on the head over at Time.com:

    "The vice-president really does believe that he can somehow champion a party that declares that his daughter must be barred from any legal protections for her child and marriage and never be confronted with the contradiction. Sorry, Mr vice-president, but one day you will have to address how you can front a party dedicated to smearing, marginalizing and disenfranchising a member of your own family. Wolf Blitzer's question is not out of line. Your hypocrisy is."

    Posted by: John C | Jan 24, 2007 10:06:29 PM

  2. LIGHTNINGLAD said: "Can someone can find a quote with Dick Cheney explicitly saying that gay marriage is wrong and should be banned, or that same-sex couples should not be allowed to raise children together?"

    In 2004 Cheney stated his personal opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment BUT he supported President Bush, who argued strongly in favor of the amendment. He discussed this during the Oct 2004 Vice Presidential debate:

    CHENEY: "In effect, what’s happened is that in recent months, especially in Massachusetts, but also in California, but in Massachusetts we had the Massachusetts Supreme Court direct the state of — the legislature of Massachusetts to modify their constitution to allow gay marriage."

    "And the fact is that the president felt that it was important to make it clear that that’s the wrong way to go, as far as he’s concerned."

    "Now, he sets the policy for this administration, and I support the president."

    See the transcript here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/debatereferee/debate_1005.html

    Posted by: John C | Jan 24, 2007 10:14:19 PM

  3. Hey Steve. So it was the classy Cheney who said to a senator "fuck you." Man, thanks for making my night with that crazy defense of the VP!


    Posted by: James | Jan 24, 2007 10:47:49 PM

  4. Again, I hate Dick Cheney, but his position on gay rights is only awful because of his attachment to the Bush Administration, not, as far as I know, because of his own machinations. John C quotes correctly and Cheney did defer to the president, yet to be fair, in August 2004 he said: "I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that's appropriate. I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area. … I think we ought to do everything we can to -- to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into."


    Cheney is exactly what is wrong with nearly everything in this administration, and was a key figure behind corporate welfare handouts, the manipulation of 9/11, the lies leading to the war in iraq, and exagerrating executive power at the expense of the 1st ammendment, habeus corpus,the Geneva Convention and congressional and judicial oversight. But for whatever reason, Cheney was more outspoken than even his lesbian daughter on gay equality issues, even during an election year. He caved, and is also egregiously guilty by association with Bush and Focus on the Family's support, but all the same, it was still positive to have a corrupt cynical vice president not only accepting his daughter but claiming that freedom ought to extend to all citizens, gays included.

    In this interview, Cheney was certainly trying to save face from disputing with the likes of Focus on the Family, but certainly questions like the one posed do demean his daughter and his grandson...the problem is that he directs his outrage at Wolf Blitzer who is trying to exploit Cheney's obvious discomfort (perfectly legitimate to draw Cheney out poltically), rather than at the rabid, rich nutjobs at Focus on the Family who first raised the question at all.

    In summary: Fuck Cheney.

    Posted by: GBM | Jan 24, 2007 11:01:15 PM

  5. The Bush's (sic) and Cheney's (sic) have class?? Bwah-hah-hah . . .

    [Is there a word missing there? Their what has class?]

    Maybe previous generations of Bush's (sic) had class . . . although I understand Prescott was something of a Nazi-lover, so never mind. His dad looks like a saint compared to this douchebag.

    Grammar aside, Cheney's hypocrisy is priceless--a reporter asks a question about a verifiable inconsistency, and that's out of line, but the Republicans pander to their fundie freak base by trying to re-write the Constitution to prevent gays from marrying, and that's OK????

    I completely agree: Fuck Cheney.

    P.S. - Dear Friends and Family - if you never hear from me again, I'm being waterboarded in Gitmo!

    Posted by: Marc | Jan 24, 2007 11:46:09 PM

  6. Cheney is a PIG. Him and People like him are WRONG for America. Have the good people of the united states of amnesia forgotten so quickly him that he has supported an administration of bigots.....and would like nothing better than to keep ALL gay americans second class citizens.

    Posted by: Vincent | Jan 24, 2007 11:50:18 PM

  7. Wow, Steve, I'm speechless. Cheney and Bush did make gay marriage an issue in the 2004 elections. In fact, of those polled who voted for Bush in 2004, the majority of those who voted did not vote on issues of the economy or Iraq, but on MORAL VALUES -


    -See the poll results half way down the page under "Most Important Issue" and "Moral Values" had the largest amount at 22%.

    Moral values, specifically the Constitutional Amendment to ban Gay Marriage, were paramount in voters' minds. Another interesting fact has been the steep increases in hate crimes towards homosexuals since Bush's Presidency. In fact, it seems statistically significant that there is a positive correlation and cause and effect between Bush's speeches in which Moral Values pertaining to homosexuals’ rights and marriage and sharp increases in hate crimes towards (male) homosexuals. Interesting eh? So no, Blitzer was NOT out of line for asking a pertinent socio-political question to a man who campaigned on taking away the civil liberties of homosexual American's such as his lesbian daughter and having had the direct support of groups such as Focus on the Family and the AFA. Further, I was astonished that Sen. Edwards was blasted for addressing this issue in the Vice Presidential debate in 2004. Edwards had EVERY right in addressing this issue, and once again Cheney had the nerve to act offended, prompting news headlines condemning Edwards. Such hypocrisy and such a backwards country...

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 24, 2007 11:57:02 PM

  8. I suppose if someone stayed perfectly out of the spotlight, didn't write books, act as a campaign manager in a very prominent election or was a public gay face to a homophobic company, you could say that Cheney had a point. But as with all things Cheney/Bush, the opposite holds true. Mary Cheney is a very, very public gay figure of HER own volition. Cheney's denial is the same kind of denial that got us into a failing, illegal war; the same kind of denial that says he wasn't drunk when he shot someone in the face; and the same kind of denial that says big oil didn't have a say in his "Energy Commission" juuuuusssst prior to the Iraq War. He's the most stereotypical bigot....if he were gay, he'd have bellbottoms, a blouse, and platform shoes.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Jan 24, 2007 11:57:54 PM

  9. That would be the "classy" Dick "Fuck you" Cheney.

    Boy, is this fun: Fuck you Cheney. Fuck you Dickie-boy. Go join Kenny-boy in Fuck you Heaven.....

    Posted by: corky | Jan 25, 2007 12:04:04 AM

  10. Another prime example of how this Administration lives in "lala land." When are the people of this country finally going to wake-up and realize the Republican Party is completely out-of-touch with reality? God knows we can't take any more of their "leadership."

    Posted by: Dr. Christopher Blackwell | Jan 25, 2007 12:20:34 AM

  11. Steve,

    You are correct on one point: neither Bush nor Cheney made an election issue out of Mary Cheney's lesbianism. In fact, they seemed to do everything possible to keep Mary in the closet during the campaign to the point that, while the rest of the Cheney family joined Dick Cheney on stage at the Republican National Convention, Mary Cheney and her partner Heather Poe stayed off the stage. Coincidence? I think not. The Bush administration (including Cheney) and his campaign staff obviously believed Mary Cheney was a political liability due to her sexual orientation.

    As for your assertion that the private lives of the Cheney family are off limits, you are dead wrong. There are over 1000 rights and responsibilities that accompany marriage, including parental rights, the right to transfer property to your spouse, the right to your spouse's social security benefits after their death, the right to visit your spouse when they are in the hospital and on and on and on. In no state (except, perhaps, Massachusetts) do GLBT citizens enjoy these rights in an equal fashion as heterosexual citizens. George Bush has stated over and over again his support for an amendment that would bar homosexuals from being able to marry and, in doing so, has stated his support for writing discrimination against an entire class of citizens into The Constitution of the United States of America. During the last Vice Presidential debate Dick Cheney, in responding to a question about his views of The Federal Marriage Amendment, stated his personal disagreement with the bill but his professional support of Bush's policies. By supporting such discrimination professionally, Bush and Cheney gave up any right to privacy on their views of the relationships of GLBT citizens, including those of their own children. By supporting such discrimination against U.S. citizens, they also make the lives and relationships of their own GLBT family members fair game for debate.

    As for your assertion that "the Bush's (SIC) and the Cheney's (SIC) have more class under the soles of their shoes than some of the posters in this blog", I would urge you to take your own advice and "discuss the issues instead of lodging scurulous (SIC) jabs at (us)". But since you've brought up the issue of class, people with class do not attempt to restrict the rights of a minority group as the members of the Bush administration have done every time they've stated their opposition to gay marriage. People with class do not attempt to stir up hatred against a minority group and thus gain political capital by suggesting that members of a minority do not deserve the same rights as the rest of the population. People with class do not lie about military intelligence in an effort to take a country to war against another country. People with class do not make life easier for the rich and more difficult for the poor as the members of the Bush administration have done with every change they've made to the tax codes of this country. People with class do not, as Dick Cheney did on the floor of the Senate, tell a political opponent "Go fuck yourself." No, Steve, neither the Bushes nor the Cheneys have any class whatsoever.

    And finally, your assertion that members of the military are "well educated" would be laughable if not for the fact that everything about this war is so sad. The facts show that the *vast* majority of U.S. Military recruits...in other words, the people serving in Iraq...have no more than a high school education. In 2003 and 2004 a paltry 5.87% of U.S. Military Recruits had greater than high school credentials. In 2005, 5.63% of U.S. Military Recruits had greater than high school credentials. These figures are based on data from U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and U.S. Census Bureau, 2004. There are very few U.S. Military recruits who have completed college and precious few who have advanced degrees.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 25, 2007 12:36:32 AM

  12. *rolls eyes*

    Cheney has been consistant in two things on the gay front - the first is his belief that gay marriage should be left to the states (when asked his personally opinion and not acting as VP) and secondly it has been a -no comment- on his family.

    Hate the guy all you want, believe in the conspirancy theories all you want, but he has not waivered from these positions. In addition - when it comes to anyone's family - ours or theres - we should respect his family's privacy. Period.

    Btw - i was almost impressed - it took at least 29 comments before someone mentioned "nazi". Is the GLBT crowd finally growing up?

    I return you to your rants about how the administration wants to destroy you.

    Posted by: yoshi | Jan 25, 2007 1:29:40 AM

  13. Blitzer was not out of line. He can ask any question he darn well pleases. Cheney was not out of line in refusing to respond.
    His right to family/personal privacy is his prerogative and I've no problem with that.

    He also believes that states should decide for themselves on "same-sex marriage". Is that a bad thing for homosexuals and lesbians?

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 25, 2007 2:11:47 AM

  14. *rolls eyes at Yoshi*

    So, then, if the citizens of one state decided not to recognize marriage between, say, a person of Asian descent and a Caucasion person, it would be okay for Cheney and Bush to support the decision of the citizens of that state?

    As for the family's privacy, Cheney, of his own volition, sought out a position as one of the most public figures in the land. In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a public figure has less of a right to privacy than that of an 'ordinary citizen'. By writing, and promoting an autobiography entitled "Now It's My Turn", Mary Cheney became what is known in the law as a 'limited purpose' public figure...again, a person who does not enjoy the same rights to privacy as an 'ordinary citizen'. Sorry, but, according to the law, Dick Cheney and Mary Cheney have far less of a right to privacy as the rest of American citizens.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 25, 2007 2:14:11 AM

  15. PETERPARKER is absolutely right.

    Like an actor, performer, singer, etc. who decides to go into the field cannot expect the level of privacy they had before, a politician must be doubly prepared to relate their politics to their personal lives in an effort to serve the people.

    Now about that Mary Cheney book - if a tree is felled for the purposes of making a book that nobody reads, did that tree ever make a sound?

    Posted by: Rey | Jan 25, 2007 8:50:48 AM

  16. Leslie, I mean Wolf, is a little too coy about this. he should have gone straight to the policy questions about gay rights and how this squares with having a gay daughter. Kerry should have done exactly the same thing. The business about Bush & his drug taking wouldn't have gotten smothered so easily if the clear policy relevance had been demonstrated from the start.

    Posted by: Rich | Jan 25, 2007 9:04:06 AM

  17. Out of line?

    Two words: FAMILY VALUES.

    Case closed.

    Posted by: mark m | Jan 25, 2007 9:27:27 AM

  18. *rolls eyes at Yoshi and says* "go f#@k yourself" :P

    Posted by: Cory | Jan 25, 2007 12:45:19 PM

  19. Dick Cheney sets himself up for being deservedly smacked down. Mary Cheney is a republican political operative who is pushed to or pulled from the stage by Dick & his fellow puppet-masters as their needs dictate. Wolf is usually a softballer but snuck in a curve ball. Nice move, Wolfie!
    I have nothing but contempt for Dick Cheney & his hypocrisy.

    Posted by: Dennis | Jan 25, 2007 6:51:55 PM

  20. Boy, that Jeff must be a REAL liberal judging by the brown stuff frothing from his mouth...

    Posted by: Mutt | Jan 25, 2007 6:56:28 PM

  21. To Steve: Terry Schiavo wasn't running for public office either, right? So her personal life was also not supposed to be an issue for any one but her immediate family. Then what was it that led every Republican in the country (from Bill Frist to Jeb Bush to the 'fine' reporters/commentators at Fox News) to raise such public furor over that?

    Posted by: dylan | Jan 25, 2007 8:07:30 PM

  22. Patrick. Neither President Bush or VP Cheney made an election issue out of Cheney's daughter being a lesbian. The press and Kerry did that. Cheney's offspring are not running for political office and their personal lives are not an issue to anyone but their family's. That excludes you, Patrick; Wolf Blitzer and the press. If manners and professional integrity should ever become an issue of politics or a campagin, the Democrats and their co-horts who make news in the drive-by media are up the creek without the proverbial paddle. If you disagree with Bush's policy(s) fine. Try sometime to discuss the issues instead of lodging scurulous jabs at their families. The Bush's and Cheney's have more class under the soles of their shoes than some of the posters in this blog obviously have. Additionally, the soldiers serving in our military are men and women, not kids as you attempt to portray them. Most are very well educated and have chosen to serve their country and protect you and me in very personal ways that have never crossed your mind.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 24, 2007 6:54:35 PM

    Steve if your post was not so sad I'd laugh. First off both Bush and Cheney actively sought the religous right wing by pushing the Gay Marriage issue. The fact that Cheney danced around it in the debate shows how spineless he is. Secondly his daughter Mary was a paid staff member on the campaign, that makes her a public figure as well, even before her lame book came out. The GOP had no trouble attacking Hillary or Kerry's wife, as do many politicians running for office. You did not see the democrats playing up Laura Bush's drunk driving accident that killed a fellow friend when she was in High School.

    As for Bush and Cheney, or anyone in their families, having class, all I can say is I hope you are not driving, with whatever drugs or alcohol you've been taking. These people are the most sleazy slime balls ever to occupy the Whitehouse.

    Lastly, while the kids serving in Iraq may be of legal age, they are still young when it comes to lifes experiences. Now they are seeing more horrors than any of us can imagine. Those who are not physically damaged will surely have many mental damage done.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Jan 25, 2007 8:16:42 PM

  23. Mary Cheney was out and campaigning for Republicans before 2004, so it looks like she made herself a public issue:

    "After her father became veep, Mary joined the gay-friendly Republican Unity Coalition and gave speeches encouraging the GOP to reach out to women, minorities and gays. "We can make sexual orientation a nonissue for the Republican Party, and we can help achieve equality for all gay and lesbian Americans," she said in an April 2002 statement."

    (Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4271472/)

    She withdrew from publically supporting the 2004 election effort after Republican Alan Keyes called her a selfish hedonist in an interview with Michelangelo Signorile. I wonder if Cheney Sr. told him to go fuck himslef over that one?

    I don't know how Steve defines staying out of the public eye but vocally campaigning for your father and writing a high-profile memoir with a title like "Now It's My Turn: A Daughter's Chronicle of Political Life" doesn't seem very shy and retiring to me.

    Posted by: John C | Jan 25, 2007 9:49:02 PM

  24. Wow....this is great! Finally, people are getting to see that Bush / Cheney and republicans are not the paragons of virtue and morality as they have tried to legislate from the start when they illegally seized political power over this nation in 2000. The republican party preyed upon the one dimensional voting habits of the religious right wing to assimilate them into their voter base in order to seize political power in 2000. That is because the religious right wing of this nation will vote for anyone who claims to be conservative, moral, Christian or against abortion. It must be difficult being a republican in 2007. To be a republican in 2007, you must concurrently believe the following. Jesus loves you but shares your same hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery. Iran was a good country when Ford and Rumsfeld and Cheney, along with General Electric, gave them our nuclear technology in the 1970's. Good guys when Cheney did business with them in the 1990's. But, then bad guys when Bush junior needed a prop for his re-election campaign as the "war president". Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which should include "banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet". It’s OK to be a republican lesbian but if you are Democrat then you are someone with a gay liberal agenda. God Bless America!!!

    Posted by: lark | Jan 26, 2007 1:38:49 AM

  25. What's so galling is that the question is certainly not out of line, given his party's policies on this issue and his daughter's heavy involvement in his campaigns. Watching Blitzer fawn and crumble like a cookie in response was a nice metaphor for the sorry state of broadcast journalism today. Such beligerence on this issue by Cheney and his wife is a convenient way to never have to defend their daughter.

    Posted by: Joe | Jan 28, 2007 12:16:01 AM

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