The bitter Wyoming GOP Senate primary got a jolt on Monday as a conservative Super PAC went after Liz Cheney for being soft on opposing gay marriage — even though she’s already come out against it.
Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, released a statement earlier this year reiterating she was “strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage.” Her sister, Mary, is openly gay and married to her longtime partner with two children.
“I believe the issue of marriage must be decided by the states, and by the people in the states, not by judges and not even by legislators, but by the people themselves,” Cheney said. Cheney’s statement drew a rebuke from her sister, who wrote on her Facebook page that, “I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage,” the New York Timesreported. Her father has also come out in favor of gay marriage.
Cheney has ruffled feathers in Republican circles with her primary bid against incumbent GOP Sen. Mike Enzi.
The television ad, which is the first released from either side, was paid for by the American Principles Fund, headed by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor and onetime presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
“The unilateral truce on social issues within the GOP is bad for our party and wrong for our country – our core values are under attack, and we will stand for those who stand for what’s right,” Huckabee Sanders said in a release.
The new commercial knocks Cheney for appearing on MSNBC in the past, claiming she “campaigns as a conservative” in Wyoming, but in Washington spoke out “against the marriage amendment.”
The ad spotlights a 2009 appearance where Cheney said she “would not like to see a constitutional amendment” banning gay marriage and also supported government benefits for gay couples.
“I applaud for example the State Department decision to extend benefits to same-sex partners around the world,” Cheney said in 2009.
The ad’s kicker “Liz Cheney: Wrong for Wyoming.”
The primary is more than 10 months away, in August 2014.