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” â€“ Washington Post