Early this morning, Richard Cheney accepted George W. Bush’s invitation to join him on the Republican ticket in the upcoming presidential election. Cheney, former Secretary of Defense under George Bush, may have a “moderate persona” but his voting record is ultra-conservative. Cheney opposes reproductive rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, openly gay servicemembers in the military, gun control and affirmative action measures. Cheney supports high military spending and prayer in public schools. As a member of Congress from the state of Wyoming, Cheney voted against federal funding of abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, or when the woman’s life is in danger. He also voted against international family planning spending (for more information, see NARAL’s Vice Presidential Candidate Report Card).
Cheney served in the Nixon administration, and was White House Chief of Staff under Gerald Ford. Bush supporters expect Cheney to allay voters’ fears about Bush’s inexperience in foreign policy. Cheney’s conservative record, however, speaks louder than the “moderate” appearance he made as a Congressman. Cheney supported the death penalty and opposed campaign finance reform. He also voted against spending on environmental programs, and supported oil drilling in an Alaskan Artic National Wildlife Refuge. He is CEO of the Halliburton Company, a petroleum service company, and favors lifting the U.S. ban on aiding undemocratic regimes in the interests of making more profits on oil pipelines in regions such as the Balkans.
Cheney serves as a trustee at the American Enterprise Institute, an ultra-conservative think-tank whose ranks include Newt Gingrich and Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, a book which claims genetic and immutable differences in intelligence between blacks and whites. The Institute opposes hate crimes legislation, and has been conducting anti-gay research. Cheney’s wife is on the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Forum, a conservative, anti-gay, anti-affirmative action, anti-women’s rights group that vows to “respect and appreciate the differences between, and the complimentary nature of, the two sexes” (Mission Statement).