(WASHINGTON) — Liz Cheney said Friday she is “not pro-gay marriage,” breaking with members of her family, most notably her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cheney is running for the U.S. Senate in Wyoming, challenging fellow Republican Sen. Mike Enzi. In a statement she accused the Enzi campaign of conducting a “push poll” in the state, which asks “Are you aware that Liz Cheney supports abortion and aggressively promotes gay marriage?”
The Enzi campaign flatly denied it conducted the poll.
“I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage,” Cheney said in a statement, adding that she believes “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.”
“The people of Wyoming deserve an honest campaign. They should not be subject to the kind of dirty tricks this push poll represents. I call on Senator Enzi to denounce this poll and to tell the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or anyone else promoting untruths on his behalf, to stop,” Cheney said.
Dick Cheney supports same-sex marriage. His daughter, and Liz Cheney’s sister, Mary is gay and she married her long-time partner Heather Poe in D.C. in June 2012.
“This is dirty tricks politics at its worst,” Celeste Colgan, Cheney campaign spokesperson, said in a statement. “It is sad and completely out of character with the way we run campaigns here in Wyoming to see the Enzi camp stoop to this level.”
Coy Knobel, Enzi’s spokesperson, flatly denied Cheney’s charge.
“Neither Mike Enzi’s campaign, nor anyone affiliated with his campaign, has conducted any polls in Wyoming,” Knobel said in a statement. “He would never support a push-poll, or tolerate anyone working for him who conducted one. For Liz Cheney to assert otherwise, without any proof whatsoever, shows more about her campaign than Mike Enzi’s. Mike Enzi prefers to focus on traveling around the state and talking to people one-on-one. That tells him what he needs to know about what Wyoming people are thinking.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Laura Koran, Dan Merica and Tom LoBianco, CNN
Herb Scribner, Deseret News