Kerry led off his response to a question about gay marriage by saying, "I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as."
That provoked an angry rebuke from the vice president, who told an NBC affiliate he thought Kerry was "out of line" to mention his daughter, and from Lynne Cheney, who said, "The only thing I could conclude is that (Kerry) is not a good man."
"I'm speaking as a mom, And a pretty indignant one," Mrs. Cheney said after Wednesday's debate. "What a cheap and tawdry political trick."
As the flap continued into Thursday, after a senior Kerry campaign staffer declared Mary Cheney was "fair game," Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. John B. Edwards, weighed in, telling ABC Radio that Mrs. Cheney, "overreacted to this and treated it as if it's shameful to have this discussion."
"I think that's a very sad state of affairs," Mrs. Edwards said. "I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences. ... It makes me really sad that that's Lynne's response."