Cheney 'surprised' by public spat between daughters
December 3rd, 2013
10:01 PM ET
5 months ago

Cheney 'surprised' by public spat between daughters

Washington (CNN) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday evening he was taken aback when his daughter Mary and her wife took to social media to rail against his other daughter Liz's stance on same-sex marriage.

"We were surprised when there was an attack launched against Liz on Facebook and wished it hadn't happened," Cheney told the audience at a National Press Club event.

Cheney, at the venue to promote he recently released book, "Heart: An American Medical Odyssey," expressed regret that his daughters aired out their grievances in public.

"It's always been dealt with within the context of the family, and, frankly, that's our preference," Cheney said.

Cheney sisters spar over same-sex marriage, parents weigh in

When moderator Barbara Cochran, president of the National Press Club's Journalism Institute, attempted to press Cheney to elaborate, he balked.

"I've gone as far as I'm going to go on the subject," Cheney said, before adding a final word of caution. "Don't waste your time."

The feud between Cheney's daughters was sparked when Liz, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in Wyoming, told Fox News' Chris Wallace in November that she does not support same-sex marriage. The interview prompted a vitriolic series of Facebook posts from her sister Mary, who is gay, and her wife, Heather Poe.

"Liz – this isn't just an issue on which we disagree – you're just wrong – and on the wrong side of history," Mary Cheney posted on Facebook.

Dick Cheney's remarks at the Washington event echoed his comments last month to CNN's Jake Tapper. The former vice president told Tapper that his position on this issue is "well known" and he would "let (his) daughters speak for themselves."

In a statement to Tapper, Liz Cheney did not waver from her stance while insisting she's always treated her sister's family with kindness.

"I love my sister and her family and have always tried to be compassionate towards them," Liz said. "I believe that is the Christian way to behave."

Filed under: Dick Cheney • Liz Cheney • Mike Enzi
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Bob Toohey

    This is newsworthy, since all over the country, families are grappling with a constantly shifting world and have to grapple with their conscience and understanding to discover where their values lie.

    Having done this work, why is one side considered evil and prejudiced for taking a stand – Why should a family member change their value system because another family member assumes a different one? How does that make a stronger family. These are good questions, for I doubt any family aggrees on the comlicated and changing issues we face today. How to disagree on values without making value statements about the other is the real challange.

    December 4, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. George

    How are you surprised? Your party teaches hate towards these people. It's no wonder you have two siblings fighting about it. You put the values of hate there.

    December 4, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. DBK

    "I love my sister and her family and have always tried to be compassionate towards them," Liz said. "I believe that is the Christian way to behave."

    She forget to add that she also believes that her sister – being gay – is not entitled to the same rights as straight people. Also, very Christian.

    December 4, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. Rationalintn

    To Liz, getting elected is more important than her own sister's civil rights. Does Liz want to create more laws that deny her sister the rights Liz automatically gets, just because Liz married someone with male parts? I have no idea how Liz can make these very public statements in front of her own children. To drive a wedge between your family, just to win an election, it's sick. I guess Liz isn't into teaching her own kids about fairness, empathy, and compassion. And Daddy is shocked that Mary would speak out during the political campaign, instead of staying quiet and taking it like a good little Cheney.

    December 4, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Eileen

    A person does not have to agree with everything they do or say to still love them. Did the sister really think the other sister had changed her opinion of the issue? No, she was just being polite. Classic liberal and gay reaction to make an argument over it.

    December 4, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Noone

    Famous people that turn to social media to start drama are only trying to stay relevant in the public eye.

    December 4, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. dike

    Children teach you the most important lessons in life....

    December 4, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Sara

    Way to go Mary. Liz is on the wrong side of history and it's really sad that she doesn't support her own sister. Christian rhetoric is really just a shield you hide behind Liz - it's isn't necessarily a truth.

    December 4, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. sameole

    Man I feel sorry for people with so little in their own life going on that they have time to get involved in other people's business.

    December 4, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. cg

    What Sara said.........perfect.

    December 4, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. khh1961

    Hate the sin, love the sinner? Wow, how very progressive of you, Liz! I'm sure your Christian compassion could be put to better use elsewhere, like with people that actually need it...

    December 4, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. fuppedduck

    Dick did not want to say much.."Don't waste your time".
    They have picked his brain before and have found nothing, so don't waste your time

    December 4, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Sean

    Conservatives who tout a desire for small government that stays out of people's personal lives should learn to walk the walk. As long as no one's being victimized, don't worry about other people's sex lives. It's not your business. And if a gay couple is in love and decides they want to marry, don't worry about that either. Just worry about your own marriage, and the people who ACTUALLY threaten the institution by marrying 4, 5, or more times, or who get divorced the day after a drunken, shotgun wedding in Vegas, etc. I'm just sick to death of these "Christians" who feel it's their duty to publicly judge those who don't share their dogma, or worse, to impose their dogma on all through legislation like the so-called "defense of marriage act." Believe what you want to believe, and let everyone else do the same. It's not a difficult concept.

    December 4, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. jim

    Civil Rights issue.... nothing civil about it. It's not NORMAL so it must be ABNORMAL right?

    December 4, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Dennis

    She must really believe that winning the election is more important than her sister.

    December 4, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. DarqueSide

    I'm glad the Cheney sisters are airing this in public. It's something millions of families are dealing with every day, with the possible exception of one of the family running for public office. Love and acceptance are what family members need. Save your 'compassion' for stray dogs and the unwashed masses.

    December 4, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Lola

    Gay daughter was born this way. What is the problem?

    December 4, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. jeffision

    The het divorce rate is 53%. They aren't qualified to define marriage.

    December 4, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Lola

    What is the problem? She was born this way.

    December 4, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. John-117

    Homosexuality is in no way something genetic or something you are born with. It is, however, something you cannot change. Homosexuality is manifested by life experiences. You can no more change it than you can change your personality. People pretend that homosexuality is something you are born with in an attempt to validate it as being normal. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the claim you are born a homosexual.

    December 4, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. kiska k

    "I love my sister and her family and have always tried to be compassionate towards them," Liz said. "I believe that is the Christian way to behave."
    What a sickening, condescending remark. Liz is dripping with a self-righteous hypocrisy that is very ugly.
    I've pointed it out before and I'll point it out again – ever notice that Liz cannot even bring herself to say her sister's (or her sister-in law, for that matter) name? It's always "my sister" or "my sister's family." It's your only sister and sister-in-law and your nieces/nephews. You must think they're pretty loathsome if you cannot even bring yourself to say their names but refer to them as some sort of unnamed unit.
    Actions speak louder than words. I hope she gets shellacked in the election.

    December 4, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. kiska k

    Also, Mary is a very successful executive at Coors and has done quite well for herself on her own merits. Liz, on the other hand, is a nobody trying to use the family name to vault herself into a position she is neither qualified for nor deserves.

    December 4, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Jeb

    Liz Cheney attended her sister's wedding and celebrated with them. Now that she's running for office, she's against gay marriage? Clearly Liz Cheney will do anything to get elected, including throwing her own sister under the bus.

    December 4, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Reasonably

    This war criminal shouldn't be surprised when the bigoted one of his children is running for public office and is forced to have her dark ages views come to light.

    December 4, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Liz has just as much right to her opinion as her sister does. Just because she feels differently doe NOT make her a monster.

    December 4, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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