Liz Cheney is being attacked in a new TV ad over her awkward flip-flop on marriage equality — or at least for once seeming to embrace it.
The ad is being run by a group that opposes same-sex marriage and insinuates Cheney is soft on so-called traditional marriage. A spokesman for the group responsible for the commercial, American Principles Fund, told the Los Angeles Times that it will run in Wyoming for two weeks.
Cheney comes from a Republican family that has publicly embraced marriage equality. Her sister is married to a woman, and her parents have both advocated publicly for marriage equality. Liz Cheney even once seemed to strike a sympathetic tone when talking in public, but now that she's launched a primary challenge to U.S. senator Mike Enzi in Wyoming, the candidate has made clear she opposes same-sex couples being allowed to marry.
In 2009, Cheney was on MSNBC repeating the same line often employed by her father to explain why he supports marriage equality: "Freedom means freedom for everyone." She said she opposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, supported equal benefits for same-sex couples, and called anything less discrimination.
Then this year she released a statement that seemed to contradict her previous public tone — if not the specifics of what she had said.
"I am strongly pro-life and I am not pro-gay marriage," she said, according to a statement issued by her campaign organization. "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."
Cheney had always said marriage equality should be decided by the states. But her claim to be "not pro-gay marriage" was new and prompted her sister, Mary Cheney, to object publicly via Facebook.
"I love my sister, but she is dead wrong," Mary Cheney wrote, among other things.
The new ad isn't the first time the marriage equality issue has been wielded against Liz Cheney. She had only issued a statement because her campaign claims Wyoming residents were being "push-polled" with questions that inferred she "aggressively promotes gay marriage."
The head of the National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, has challenged Cheney to prove that she is really against marriage equality by supporting both a Wyoming constitutional amendment and the federal amendment.
Here's the complete transcript of the new ad, which begins with footage of out MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow:
Narrator: MSNBC, the go-to network for Barack Obama and Washington's liberal elites. So what's Liz Cheney doing here? 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.
Cheney: "I applaud for example the State Department decision to extend benefits to same-sex partners around the world."
Narrator: Liz Cheney. Wrong for Wyoming.
A new website for the American Principles Fund says its mission is proving that social issues aren't losers for Republican candidates. The group wants to "break the unilateral truce on social issues within the GOP by demonstrating that social issues are winning issues, especially when combined with an economic message that addresses voters’ most urgent concerns."
Watch the video below:
Watch the entire 2009 interview below: