Liz Cheney: 'The choice for America couldn't be clearer'
CNN's Ed Henry on Sen. John Kerry's meeting with Ralph Nader.
Same-sex marriage issue and the November presidential election.
Bush and the African-American vote.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Both of Vice President Dick Cheney's daughters are active in the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. Liz Cheney spoke Thursday with CNN anchor Judy Woodruff about the gender gap, Iraq and same-sex marriage. The following is an edited transcript.
WOODRUFF: So we just talked about this 11-point gender gap. Do you think you all are going to be able to close something that big?
CHENEY: Well, I do. I actually don't agree that the gender gap is that large. I think what you've seen consistently since the 2000 election is the closing of the gap. And you know, it depends what poll you look at, but in a couple of the polls that we've seen in the last few weeks, in fact, the gender gap has just about disappeared. So we feel very confident that the president's strong and steady leadership is going to resonate with women, as well as men.
WOODRUFF: Well, I know those numbers we were quoting were from early -- or I should say in last few days in May. So I know our poll may be recent. But specifically, with regard to Iraq, we know that this is one issue clearly dividing men and women. Again, in our latest poll, by a margin of 50 to 38, women prefer John Kerry's approach to Iraq. How do you deal with something like that?
CHENEY: Well, again, I think that, you know, when you look at what this president has done to keep the country safe since September 11, which obviously includes the liberation of Iraq, the liberation of Afghanistan, we see that national security is going to be a critical issue for women voters this year, as well as for men voters, and the more that people pay attention to Senator Kerry and his positions on the issues, and the extent to which it's very hard to pin him down on key issues, you know, the more we see that they're very nervous about that.
And I can tell you what I hear from women as I travel around the country is a real concern, a real fear that when you're looking for somebody to be commander-in-chief at a time of war, you want somebody whose position you can pin down. And Senator Kerry too often has changed his position on really critical issues.
WOODRUFF: Well, it's not just Democrats. It's now some Republican who are questioning the president's handling of Iraq, handling of the deficit. I want to quote very quickly something that the former Senate Majority Leader, Trent Lott, said just the other day.
He said, "I don't think they're necessarily out of ideas, but they're not advancing ideas." He said, "They're running short on fuel in terms of ideas that turn people on ... Leadership is fine, but leadership to do what?"
CHENEY: Well, I think it's absolutely clear, leadership to win the war on terror and leadership to continue the economic recovery. If you look at where we were after September 11 in terms of the situation where the Taliban was in power in Afghanistan, where Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq, and the steps the president has taken since then both to keep America safe, creating the Department of Homeland Security and liberating 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, there's simply no question but not only have we got ideas we're advancing, but the president now has a proven track record. The same holds true on the economy, as well.
WOODRUFF: Liz Cheney, I also want to ask you about an issue that's getting a lot of attention this year, a domestic issue. The first lady, Laura Bush, said yesterday that she thought the subject of gay marriage is something that people should talk about and they should debate.
Do you agree with the president -- and I'm asking you this personally -- the fact that he has called for a constitutional ban on gay marriage? Are you comfortable with that idea?
CHENEY: Well, I am. I think that the position my dad laid out in 2000, which is that this is an issue that ought to be one for states to decide. It's a very important issue and it's a very difficult issue. And I think that it's wrong for us to be in a position where you've got, you know, four, I believe, activist judges in Massachusetts who are essentially taking the ability away from the people to decide and debate the issue. So it's a very important one, and one that should be discussed.
WOODRUFF: So you're saying you agree with what your father said back in 2000, when he said it is something that should be left to the states?
CHENEY: Left to the people of the states.
WOODRUFF: Because recently he said he supports the president's call for a ban.
CHENEY: He has made clear, and the president believes this, too, this is an issue that the people should be able to decide. And what has happened now is, because of the actions, as I said, of a few judges in the state of Massachusetts, we're in a position where that decision has been taken away from the people.
So I think, as I said, it's a difficult issue, one people ought to debate and decide. And it's a tough one. But ultimately, in a democracy, it should be in the hands of the people and not in the hands of a few activist judges.
WOODRUFF: So that means you would be in favor of at least a vote on a constitutional ban?
CHENEY: I think you have to look at what it takes.
WOODRUFF: OK. Liz Cheney, what is your goal in this campaign? I mean, you were just telling me a minute ago you're going to give birth you think on July 1 or thereabouts. How much longer can you campaign?
CHENEY: That's right. Well, I plan to campaign up and until the delivery as much as I can, and then be back on the campaign trail again after that.
The campaign itself and the issues that are at stake are so important in terms of our children. And I think of my own children in this regard. The direction of the country really will be determined by who we elect in November. And I think that the choice for America couldn't be clearer.
So I am very committed, as my entire family is, including my sister, Mary, who is director of vice presidential operations for the campaign, to working very, very hard to make sure that the president and my dad are re-elected in November.