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George Bush Says He's 'Happy' for Mary Cheney

12/15/2006 at 05:20 PM EST

George Bush Says He's 'Happy' for Mary Cheney
President Bush and Mary Cheney
Evan Vucci/AP; Charles Sykes/REX
President Bush tells PEOPLE he is happy for Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary, who is expecting a child with her partner, Heather Poe.

In an exclusive year-end interview, the President told PEOPLE, "The Vice President took me aside and gave me the good news. He and his wife, Lynne, are very happy for Mary."

In 2005, Bush said that ideally "a child is raised in a married family with a man and a woman."

Asked if he still felt that way knowing Mary and her partner, he said, "I think Mary is going to be a loving soul to her child. And I'm happy for her."

Mary Cheney, 37, and Poe, 45, have been together for 15 years and are expecting their first child late in the spring.

Although Cheney was a key aide on her father's 2004 reelection campaign, she has said she disagrees with Bush's stance on gay marriage.

"I am in favor of legalized same sex marriage," she told PEOPLE in May. But during the campaign, she says, "I had no doubt, even with that disagreement, that President Bush was the absolute best person to be leading us at this time in our country's history."

For PEOPLE's complete interview with the President, including his answers to readers' questions, click here.

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