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John Edwards On Mary Cheney's Book

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John Edwards On Mary Cheney's Book

by The Associated Press

May 10, 2006 - 7:00 pm ET

(New York City) John Edwards defended his decision to mention the sexual orientation of Vice President Dick Cheney's openly gay daughter in a 2004 debate, rejecting Mary Cheney's criticism in a newly released book.

Attending a labor rally in New York on Wednesday, Edwards was asked about Mary Cheney's comments about the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee. In her book, "Now It's My Turn," Cheney called Edwards a "total slime" and argued that he tried to use her sexual orientation as a political tool against her father.

She said she mouthed an expletive after Edwards praised the Cheney family during the October 2004 debate for their willingness "to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter."

Edwards said Wednesday that he stood by the comments.

"What I did was express my respect and admiration for the way the Cheney family, along with millions of other families, have embraced members of their family, and if I remember the vice president was very gracious in reacting to that," Edwards said. "I think it was appropriate."

During the debate, moderator Gwen Ifill asked Vice President Cheney about his comments that "freedom means freedom for everybody" and whether that was consistent with the Bush administration's support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Cheney repeated his comments on freedom and added, "People ought to be free to choose any arrangement they want. It's really no one else's business." He said that was a separate question from government sanction of a union.

That prompted Edwards to mention the Cheneys' daughter and how they deserve respect for being willing to talk about her.

After additional Edwards' comments on gay marriage and civil unions, the vice president said, "Let me simply thank the senator for the kind words he said about my family and our daughter. I appreciate that very much."

In recent months, Edwards has traveled the country as a vocal anti-poverty advocate while contemplating a possible 2008 presidential bid. He refused on Wednesday to say whether he had made a decision about a possible candidacy, saying only that he is "seriously thinking about it."

©365Gay.com 2006

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