Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) lashed out at Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney (R) on Monday, accusing her of destructive behavior toward her own family.
“You’re not even destroying friendships -- you’re destroying family relationships just because of this race,” Simpson told NBC. “It’s hard for all of us who know the Cheneys to see the things she’s doing to win this race. It’s almost like ‘I will do anything to win this race,’ because I cannot ever believe that there would be a breach between she and Mary.”
Simpson, who is backing incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in his 2014 battle against Cheney, was reacting to a tense exchange over the weekend between Liz, her openly gay sister Mary, and Mary's wife, Heather Poe. On Fox News Sunday, Liz Cheney was asked to clarify her position on gay marriage. She said that she was a believer in traditional marriage, and did not support amending the constitution in favor of same-sex couples.
"Listen, I love Mary very much, I love her family very much," she said. "This is just an issue on which we disagree."
Poe struck back at Liz Cheney on Facebook, calling her comments "offensive."
"Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 - she didn't hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us," Poe wrote. "To have her now say she doesn't support our right to marry is offensive to say the least. I can't help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other."
Mary Cheney proceeded to share Poe's remarks on her own Facebook page, adding a comment that her sister was "just wrong."
"Couldn't have said it better myself," she wrote. "Liz - this isn't just an issue on which we disagree - you're just wrong - and on the wrong side of history."
Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, also stepped into the Sunday war of words between their daughters. In a statement, the parents said this had privately been an issue "for many years" -- one that left them "pained to see it become public."
"Since it has, one thing should be clear," the statement read. "Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister's family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done."