(WASHINGTON) — It was standing room only at the Mayflower Hotel on Monday for Politico Playbook’s lunch with the Cheney family. The former vice president was joined by his wife Lynne and daughter Liz for an interview.
The conversation bounced from Dick and Liz Cheney’s controversial op-ed in the Wall Street Journal to his Ford F-350 diesel truck (he’s a “proud owner”) to Rand Paul’s foreign policy views.
Lynne took a jab at Hillary Clinton, saying she “wasn’t so sure” about Dick Cheney becoming vice president, but that “we weren’t dead broke!”
The laughter was quickly eclipsed by several protesters, who interrupted the interview with shouts of war crimes directed at the former vice president.
Noticeably absent from lunch was Mary Cheney, Liz’s sister, who is openly gay and married her longtime partner Heather Poe in 2012. Allen addressed her absence, saying she had been invited but had other obligations.
The Cheneys largely deflected questions about the family’s feud over gay marriage (Dick Cheney supports it, Liz doesn’t).
“I love Mary very much and Heather and the kids,” Liz said, before changing the subject.
Most of the conversation revolved around Iraq and foreign policy. Dick Cheney was critical of the current administration’s handling of Iraq. He said entering Iraq in 2003, “was absolutely the right thing to do.”
Dick Cheney placed the blame for the recent Islamic militant violence on Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki and the Obama administration. He said the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is, “attracting thousands of followers from all over the world,” and there’s a “cauldron out there” with respect to nuclear weapons.
At the same time, the former vice president said there is an “isolationist strain developing” inside the GOP, and that “isolationism is crazy.” With the creation of the Alliance for a Strong America, he and his daughter Liz want to bring, “national security front and center in debate and dialogue going forward.”
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Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
Dakin Andone, CNN
Jackson Adams, Teton Valley News
Azadeh Ansari and Angela Dewan, CNN