WASHINGTON – Vice President Dick Cheney told a reporter Wednesday that he was “out of line” after repeated questions about his gay daughter, Mary, who is pregnant.
Mary Cheney and Heather Poe, her partner of 15 years, are expecting a baby in late spring.
Cheney said he was “delighted I’m about to have a sixth grandchild” during the interview with a cable news network. But asked about his reaction to a statement by Focus on the Family, the organization led by James Dobson, Cheney stared down his questioner, CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
“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,” Blitzer read, quoting the organization.
Asked if Cheney wanted to respond, the vice president paused and stared at Blitzer before saying, "No, I don't."
Blitzer, seemingly spooked by the chill that pervaded the room, tried to smooth the ruffled feathers by offering his opinion of Mary and her older sister, Elizabeth Cheney.
“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,” he said.
Cheney said he, too, thinks the world of his daughters and added, "I think, frankly, you’re out of line with that question. ... I just fundamentally disagree with your perspective.”
Asked about the legitimacy of the questions posed to Cheney, Roberta Sklar, a spokeswoman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said they were "completely appropriate," and she could find no reason why they shouldn't be discussed.
"It would seem that it would be valuable and earnest to speak directly and clearly to the public about it," Sklar said.
Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, said the question was fair but it was designed to draw an angry reaction from Cheney.
"I think Cheney clearly understood this was a trouble-making question," Graham said. "It's a fair question but not a kind question."
Last month, Lynne Cheney, the vice president's wife, said she and the vice president are looking forward to the coming birth and also dodged questions about the appropriateness of gay parents.
"Well, I think that it's just very lucky for me that I enjoy being a grandmother and I get to do it for the sixth time," Cheney said in an interview on "FOX News Sunday."
"Dick and I [are] both very much looking forward to this new baby," Lynne Cheney said, adding that their daughter will be a "great mom."