JACKSON HOLE, WY, October 9, 2013 ( – In 2010, then-Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels forecast that Republicans would call a“truce on the so-called social issues.” In Wyoming three years later, social conservatives are saying the truce is over and supporters of traditional marriage are fighting to take their party back.

The American Principles Fund has taken out a new ad slamming Liz Cheney for supporting same-sex “marriage.” Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, hopes to unseat three-term incumbent Mike Enzi in the upcoming GOP primary.

The ad, entitled “Wrong for Wyoming,” makes reference to Cheney's past stated support for marriage redefinition during a May 28, 2009, interview.

“MSNBC: The go-to network for Barack Obama and Washington's liberal elites. So, what's Liz Cheney doing here?” the 30-second spot asks. “In Wyoming, Cheney campaigns as a conservative. In Washington, she appears on MSNBC to campaign against the marriage amendment and support government benefits for gay couples.”


“I applaud for example the State Department decision to extend benefits to same-sex partners around the world,” Cheney said in the interview.

“The unilateral truce on social issues within the GOP is bad for our party and wrong for our country,” said APF spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Our core values are under attack, and we will stand for those who stand for what’s right,” Sanders said.

“We want to show Republicans they don't have to run away from this position,” Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, told The Hill newspaper. “They can win by embracing traditional marriage. Our goal as a PAC is to show that these social issues can be winning issues for the GOP if we embrace them.”

Cheney spokeswoman Kara Ahern called the ad “a dishonest smear from an out-of-state PAC.”

The “out-of-state” reference may only remind the state's voters than Cheney herself only recently took up residence in her parents' home state.

Some media outlets have come to Cheney's defense. The Hill reported, “In the MSBNC interview from 2009, Cheney didn’t label herself as for or against gay marriage.”

However in the interview in question, Cheney replied to a question about what Obama should do about redefining marriage by saying, “Well, look, I think, you know, my family has been very clear about this, that we think freedom means freedom for everybody and that this is an issue that states have to decide for themselves.”

Her father publicly endorsed same-sex “marriage.” Her sister, Mary, later “married” a woman.

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In late August, Liz Cheney issued a press release declaring, “I am not pro-gay marriage. I believe 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.”

Upon hearing of Liz's change of heart, Mary Cheney wrote on her Facebook page, “For the record, I love my sister, but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage. Freedom means freedom for everyone.”

At the time, Liz Cheney accused Enzi's campaign of misrepresenting her position in a “push-poll” (a mock poll intended to plant negative information about an opponent with potential voters). However, no evidence of such phone calls ever came to light.

Senator Enzi, who has a 100 percent pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life Committee, co-sponsored a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage in 2008.

Cheney is considered a longshot in this socially conservative state, as many of Enzi's colleagues rally to his defense.

Regardless of the outcome of the race, the divide over social issues such as marriage and abortion is far from over in the GOP. But now, it has been joined.

Sanders promised, “We'll continue to do that over the next year and a half leading up to the November 2014 elections.” 


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