Liz Cheney: Obama ‘trying to have it both ways’ on gay rights

Liz Cheney, co-founder of the national security advocacy group Keep America Safe, panned the president’s recent speech to a gay rights advocacy group claiming there was little daylight between his positions on gay equality and those of many GOP presidential hopefuls.

“I don't know where President Obama is on this issue and I suspect that there were a lot of people who were watching his speech in that room last night wondering whether they could believe what he was saying, frankly,” said Cheney on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

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“His position on these issues hasn't been that different from where many of the Republican candidates are. He hasn't come out and advocated gay marriage, for example. I think this was sort of one more example where he's trying to have it both ways,” she said.

“When he speaks to that audience he tries to sound like he's, you know, some sort of a fighter and advocate for equality, but when he's trying to appeal to people who may not have that as their primary issue, he has got another position,” Cheney said.

“I thought it was pretty vintage Obama, frankly,” she added.

President Obama delivered a speech to the gay advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, in Washington on Saturday night looking to boost his standing with a core Democratic constituency.

In his speech, Obama listed the accomplishments his administration had overseen: a hate crimes bill named for Matthew Shepard; an executive order giving gay partners the same rights as straight partners in hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid; and ending the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

Liz Cheney’s father, Dick Cheney who also appeared on CNN Sunday praised the decision to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. “It is the right thing to do,” he said.

The former vice president though took issue with the president’s criticism of GOP candidates for not responding when audience members at a debate booed a question from a gay soldier.

“I'm a little bit leery of the notion that somehow we ought to go hammer the Republican candidates because they didn't respond to booing in the audience,” he said. “When you're in a political campaign and debates, you know, people boo a lot of things. And I'm not sure that it was all focused specifically on that particular issue.”

"We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the President of the United States being silent when an American soldier is booed," Obama had said in his speech to the HRC on Saturday.