When asked why he opposed gay marriage during the 2004 debate against Democrat John Edwards, Vice President Dick Cheney conspicuously avoided mentioning his daughter, Mary, who is openly gay. Though he also opposes gay marriage, Edwards was quick to bring up Mary, saying: "I think the Vice President and his wife love their daughter. I think they love her very much." Cheney responded tersely: "Let me simply thank the Senator for the kind words he said about my family and our daughter. I appreciate that very much." Debate moderator Gwen Ifill prodded Cheney, asking, "That's it?" "That's it," Cheney replied. At the debate's close, Mary Cheney and her longtime partner Heather Poe joined the vice president onstage; Mary later called Edwards "total slime."