Liz Cheney in the No Spin Zone

This is a partial transcript from "The O'REILLY Factor," Oct. 20, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST:   In the impact segment tonight, the impact of this comment on John Kerry is still reverberating around the country.


SEN. JOHN KERRY (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:   I think if you were to talk to Dick CHENEY's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was.  She is being who she was born as.


O'REILLY:  All right.  Joining us now from Washington is Liz Cheney, the — is it the daughter of the vice president, I know.  You're older than Mary, Mary's older sister.


O'REILLY:  All right.  Now first, I'm going to get your personal reaction when you were watching the debates, when you heard that, what did you do?

CHENEY:  Well, you know, I mean, I think my family's made clear that it made us angry. We thought it was wrong.  I think that people all across the country who were watching had the same reaction.

O'REILLY:  I want to know about you.

CHENEY:  I was angry.

O'REILLY:  This is kind of the Oprah (search) thing here we got going on.

CHENEY:  You're not Oprah, you're a lot of things but you're not Oprah.

O'REILLY:  That's true, I mean Ms. Winfrey's far beyond anything I aspire to.  But you're sitting there OK and you're watching the debate right and you're interested and then all of a sudden that happens and your reaction is —

CHENEY:  to be angry.  I think it was unprecedented for a candidate to use the child of another candidate — in this case my sister — for political gains.  Yes, I was angry.

O'REILLY:  So right away you got steamed, like this.  Now you call your sister and she says what?

CHENEY:  You know, I think, as I said, it made us all angry.  But I got to say, you know, if you look at what Mrs.  Heinz Kerry said today about Mrs.  Bush, people are really starting to think sort of who are these people?

O'REILLY:  What did she say about Mrs. Bush?

CHENEY:  Mrs. Heinz Kerry said today that Mrs. Bush has never had a real job.  Mrs.  Bush was a teacher. She was a librarian. She is a mother. The last time I checked, those are all real jobs.  For Mrs. Heinz Kerry to come out and attack us, but it does begin to look like some kind of an odd pattern here where they continue to sort of attack family members.  We want to talk about the war on terror.  We want to talk about the economy.  We want to talk about how we are going to create jobs in this country.  It's all just a bit baffling, I have to say.

O'REILLY:  You dodged my question — but did it very well, by the way.

CHENEY:  It's an important point, but thanks for the compliment.

O'REILLY:  You called your sister Mary and she said —

CHENEY:  We were all angry.  I will just leave it there.  We said plenty about this issue and the American people made their own decision about it. They know...

O'REILLY:  Mary was angry, too, about it?

CHENEY:  Mary was angry and it says something about the kind of person Senator Kerry is.

O'REILLY:  OK, so Mary was steamed that Senator Kerry would use her as an example of somebody who — because the original question was whether people were born gay or they acquired the behavior.  It's interesting.  I didn't feel the way you did.  I didn't really feel any way.  But Anita Hill, who does the radio show with me sometimes, she felt exactly the way you did and then we got a bunch of calls. Do you think it is a woman thing more than a man thing?

CHENEY:  I don't.  I think it's really across the board and as I said, it is part of a disturbing pattern now from Senators Kerry and Edwards of really being willing to say absolutely anything and do anything.  And if you look at Senator Edwards' comments about, you know, if Senator Kerry were president, Christopher Reeve would have been able to get out of his wheelchair and walk again.  If you look at what they are doing now in terms of trying to scare people about Social Security, the lies, frankly, they are telling about that, what they are saying about the draft.  It's all part of a pattern. It's really disturbing and today's attack by Mrs. Heinz Kerry on Mrs. Bush —

O'REILLY:  I got to research that.  I got to research that a little more.

CHENEY:  You got to look at it.  It was really stunning.

O'REILLY:  Yeah, I will. We have our guys doing it right now, just to see the context of the question.  Going after Laura Bush is not a good idea.  Obviously going after Mary Cheney wasn't a good idea, but I don't think he went after her.  See, I don't think these guys and I'm not apologizing for them, by the way, because they are big boys and this was a rehearsed answer.  It wasn't off the top of his head because as you pointed out, Edwards had brought it out before.  So this was like they wanted to do this.  If I could ever talk to John Kerry, I would ask him, why do you want to do that? What was the point? But the — I don't think it was any malice in the remark.  I don't think they wanted to make your sister feel bad.  I think they were trying to make a point that just backfired on them.  Am I wrong?

CHENEY:  I think what you saw after the debate with Senator Kerry's campaign chairwoman coming out and saying that Mary Cheney was fair game confirms what seems to be pretty obvious, which is that they were trying to score some political points.

O'REILLY:  Fair game is not a thing — Cahill, right did that, Mary Beth Cahill. That was not a good phrase either.  She's fair game. I understand, I understand here, you got to be when you're talking about people's private lives, you've got to be very, careful to be respectful.  I think that's what it's all about, is it not, Ms.Cheney, isn't it about respect?

CHENEY:  Well, it's all about, we have really critically important issues facing this nation.  The decision we are going to make in about 12 days from now I think is the most important in my lifetime.  It's a question about who's going to be steadfast, who's going to win the war on terror, who's going to keep this economy growing.  Those are the things that we in the Bush/Cheney campaign want to talk about.  What we have seen now over the course of about the last 10 days is sort of repeated attacks from the other side on members of the families of the candidates.  So it's truly baffling.

O'REILLY:  I have asked this question to Mrs. Bush and to the president.  I want to ask you because I'm always interested in this.  Why do you think the country is so divided? You look at the polls and it's like tied almost everywhere.  Why is the country so divided?

CHENEY:  You know, it's really hard to say.  I think if you look back at the 2000 election, we were obviously very divided then.  We are dealing with big, big issues, issues of war and peace.  And I think those are issues that people feel passionately about and feel strongly about and want to make sure that they are out there having their voices heard.  I suppose that contributes to it.  But this president has got a tremendous track record of being able to reach across the aisle and put in place things like the no child left behind legislation, Medicare reform, things that politicians had talked about doing for decades and George Bush has actually done.

O'REILLY:  do you like doing this? Do you like interviewing with pinheads like me? Do you enjoy this or are you going to be happy when this is over?

CHENEY:  You know it's a real honor for us.  You kind of take the slings and arrows that come.  But as a family, we really do feel like it's a privilege to be out here being able to talk about these important  issues.

O'REILLY:  Good for you.  We remind everybody that Ms. Cheney's dad, the vice president, will be on with "Hannity & Colmes" right after “The Factor” and we appreciate you stopping by.  Thank you very much.

CHENEY: Thanks.

respect you and your service very much, and we  appreciate you coming on the program.

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