WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 â€” Mary Cheneyâ€™s baby will have two mommies, and that is just fine with President Bush.When People magazine asked him what he thought of the news that Vice President Dick Cheney
â€™s daughter, who is a lesbian, was pregnant with a child whom she will raise with her longtime partner, Heather Poe, Mr. Bush said: â€œI think Mary is going to be a loving soul to her child. And Iâ€™m happy for her.â€
Mary Cheney and Ms. Poe are not married, though they have said that, for all purposes, they consider themselves to be.
People released parts of the interview on Friday, and the quotation about Ms. Cheneyâ€™s baby prompted a new round of questions about the presidentâ€™s past statements against same-sex marriage and, more particularly, child rearing by gay couples.
For instance, in an interview with The New York Times in 2005, Mr. Bush said in response to a question about gay adoption: â€œThe ideal in society is to raise children with a man and a woman. Private adoption firms can make whatever choice they choose to do.â€
He added, â€œI believe children can receive love from gay couples, but the ideal is â€” and studies have shown that the ideal is where a child is raised in a married family with a man and a woman.â€
During his regular press briefing, the White House spokesman, Tony Snow, said Mr. Bush still believed that children should ideally be raised by a man and a woman as parents. But, Mr. Snow said, â€œhe believes that Mary Cheneyâ€™s child will, in fact, have loving parents.â€
Asked if Mr. Bush believed a child raised by parents of the same sex would be at a disadvantage, Mr. Snow replied, â€œHe does not make comments on that, and nor will I.â€
Mary Cheney, 37, has said that she considered quitting the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in 2004 when the president supported a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. She is now an executive at Time Warnerâ€™s AOL unit.
Mr. Bush is also quoted by People as saying, â€œThereâ€™s no doubt in my mind a woman could do the jobâ€ of president.
The magazine quotes the first lady, Laura Bush
, as saying that she believed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
could be a good candidate but was not running, â€œprobably because she is single, her parents are no longer living, sheâ€™s an only child.â€
â€œYou need a very supportive family and supportive friends to have this job,â€ Mrs. Bush said.
Also in the interview, Mr. Bush acknowledged that he sometimes had to take â€œsleep aidsâ€ when traveling abroad, though â€œI must tell you, Iâ€™m sleeping a lot better than people would assume.â€