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Defending Iraq War, Defiant Cheney Cites 'Enormous Successes'

Cheney said Blitzer was advocating retreat. "What you're recommending, or at least what you seem to believe the right course is, is to bail out," the vice president said.

"I'm just asking," Blitzer objected.

"No, you're not asking."

Blitzer has been in the Cheney doghouse since October, when he interviewed the vice president's wife, Lynne, and asked about steamy scenes in a novel she wrote. The subject came up because James Webb, a Democrat then running for Senate from Virginia, had cited her novel in trying to defend explicit scenes he had written. Lynne Cheney angrily rebuffed Blitzer, and her husband later congratulated her for what he called "the slapdown."

Yesterday, the CNN host mentioned that Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary, has become pregnant and asked whether he wanted to respond to conservatives who have criticized her.

"I'm delighted I'm about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf," Cheney said. "And obviously, I think the world of both my daughters and all of my grandchildren. And I think, frankly, you're out of line with that question."

Blitzer tried to defend himself: "I think all of us appreciate --" Cheney cut him off: "I think you're out of line."

"We like your daughters," Blitzer replied. "Believe me, I'm very sympathetic to Liz and to Mary. I like them both. That was a question that's come up, and it's a responsible, fair question."

"I just fundamentally disagree with you," Cheney said.

Cheney was terse, too, about leading Democrats. Asked whether he thinks Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) would make a good president, Cheney said simply, "No, I don't."

"Why?"

"Because she's a Democrat. I don't agree with her philosophically and from a policy standpoint."

And how did it feel to sit next to Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the first woman to serve as House speaker?

"I prefer Dennis Hastert."


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