Dick Cheney Tells Wolf Blitzer, “You’re out of line!”

Wolf Blitzer conducted a contentious interview with Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday. They covered a wide range of topics, but the most contentious exchange came at the end when Wolf Blitzer asked about Mary Cheney, the Vice President’s daughter. [You can watch a video of the exchange below.]

BLITZER: 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?

CHENEY: No, I don’t.

BLITZER: She’s obviously a good daughter —

CHENEY: 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.

BLITZER: I think all of us appreciate —

CHENEY: I think you’re out of — I think you’re out of line with that question.

BLITZER: — 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.

CHENEY: I just fundamentally disagree with your perspective.

It’s hard to believe that Blitzer would ask that question. Everyone remembers how offended the Vice President was in his debate with John Edwards in 2004 when Edwards brought up Mary Cheney. It was abundantly clear then that Vice President Cheney does not appreciate questions about the personal life of his daughter. Wolf Blitzer should have known this. In fact, he must have known this. So why did he broach the subject?

The question seemed designed so that the Vice President would be backed into a corner. Cheney can either defend his daughter like any good father would want to do (and like every decent person watching would expect him to do), or he can say “no comment.” If he does the former, then he offends an evangelical political base who by and large like “Focus on the Family” and its stance on family issues. If he does the latter, then he offends every decent person in the country who knows instinctively that Fathers are supposed to protect their daughters from attacks. By saying “no comment” he would have come across as a lecherous partisan kowtowing to his conservative constituency.

I think Blitzer asked the question not because he cared about Dick Cheney’s daughter, but because he wanted to stick it to Cheney. Blitzer just wanted a “gotcha” moment with the Vice President of the United States. Cheney understood that his daughter was being used by Blitzer, and it’s not difficult to imagine why he was offended. I would have been too.

Transcript of the Interview:
“Vice President Cheney on CNN” – Washington Post

10 Responses to Dick Cheney Tells Wolf Blitzer, “You’re out of line!”

  1. Paul January 25, 2007 at 7:32 am #

    The problem is, you can’t have your cake and eat it too, Denny. Either you’re for giving every single person the same set of rights, including the rights of parenthood and marriage, or you’re not, and that includes your own kids.

    So, if the Vice President is part of an administration whose agenda includes writing discrimination into the Constitution, and ironically enough, his daughter is part of the minority which that administration wants to persecute, shouldn’t he be called to the mat for that? I think so.

    I think, realistically, he only has two choices: support his daughter and resign from the Vice Presidency or support his Vice Presidency and disown his daughter.

    Anything else would be hypocritical.

    And Mary Cheney’s just making a choice anyway, right?

  2. Paul January 25, 2007 at 8:11 am #

    And just to add to what I already said, another reason why the Vice President is many things which I won’t say out loud…

    “BLITZER: Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good President?

    CHENEY: No, I don’t.

    BLITZER: Why?

    CHENEY: Because she’s a Democrat. I don’t agree with her philosophically and from a policy standpoint.”

    It’s one thing to disagree with someone because of a proven track record. It’s completely another to say that someone wouldn’t be a good president because of the party that they belong to.

    First off, Truman, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton were all better presidents than the boy wonder could ever hope to be.

    Secondly, I can think of lots of Republicans that I would vote for in a second. I don’t vote party lines, I vote quality candidates. And if THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is too petty to do likewise, then it is a sad, sad, sad day for America, indeed.

  3. Jason January 25, 2007 at 12:30 pm #

    Paul,

    You continually amaze me, lol. I like how you stand up for John McCain for appeasing to his constituents, but throw Cheney under the bus for not alienating his. I also enjoy how you offer up the decidely Christian alternative of disowning his daughter. Good work, keep it up.

    Bravo,

    Jason

  4. Kris Weinschenker January 25, 2007 at 1:10 pm #

    Blitzer employed a standard reporting tactic. He asked a question his interviewee wasn’t prepared to address. Chris Wallace did the same thing a coupla months ago in his interview with Bill Clinton.

    It’s interesting to contrast the responses of Clinton and Cheney. Clinton launched into a paranoid tyrade claiming the press was ‘out to get him’. Cheney simply responded the question was out of bounds.

    Cheney gains a point in my book for “class”, to go along with the one he got for shooting a lawyer.

  5. theseldomscene January 25, 2007 at 1:18 pm #

    good posts’ paul…chaney is wrong…the question is valid…and it doesn’t make one a bad father for admitting their child went in error…it is bad to slide around and try to justifiy or ignore it…

  6. JP January 25, 2007 at 2:26 pm #

    Blitzer was completely out of line and Paul apparently is just as completely out of his mind. I won’t say that about tss because we all know it already.

    Blitzer characterized it as a fair and responsible question – how is that? What has Mary Cheney have to do with the Vice-president doing his job? For that matter, the Focus on the Family group itself needs to spend a little more time focusing on Christ in the family and not demonizing people for their own public promotion.

    I’m just glad that Dick didn’t reach across the table and slap blitzer upside his head – I would have done so – repeatedly.

  7. Robert I Masters January 25, 2007 at 6:47 pm #

    Denny,
    Iam hard core republican….but show me Scripture that says we must support our family at all cost.
    All he had to say was I disagree with my daughters values but still love her and want the best for both her and her baby.
    He couldnt say that because he is on the wrong side of the issue.
    BTW….My mother, the only parent living, has done exactly that to me.
    Soli Deo Gloria
    RefBapRob

  8. dennyrburk January 25, 2007 at 7:54 pm #

    Dear Robert,

    I never said that “we must support our family at all cost,” nor did I mean to imply it.

    I am a Christian, and Christ said that, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26; cf. Matt 10:37).

    As Christians, our allegiance lies first and foremost with King Jesus.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  9. Kris Weinschenker January 25, 2007 at 8:42 pm #

    In an interwiew about the War on Teror, the War in Iraq, etc. you don’t expect to get suddenly asked about your gay daughter.

    Wolf was fishing. It wasn’t necessarily unethical, but it obviously upset Cheney. Cheney responded appropiately.

    As opposed to Slick Wille when he was ambushed by Chris Wallace and went into a paranoid rant about the press being ‘out to get him’.

    I certainly hope some reporter does the same thing to Hillary soon, so all of America can see her true colors.

    Of course, being a woman, she might get treated with kid gloves.

  10. Michael January 31, 2007 at 11:06 pm #

    I find it hard to take seriously anything said by someone who is so worried about his point of view of theology that his username has to include it. I would suppose that you think it’s the ‘right’ and ‘only’ view of theology.

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