ORLANDO, FL — Members of the crowd gathered for the Fox News/YouTube debate booed a video of a gay soldier in Iraq who asked if the nine presidential candidates on stage would work to “circumvent” the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Rick Santorum answered the question, and said that the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers was granting them special rights. From the debate transcript:
I would say any type of sexual activity has no place in the military. The fact they are making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to and removing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military’s job is to do one thing to defend our the military, wh I all-volunteer the ability to do so in a way that is [Inaudible]
The cringe-worthy moment has become something of a trend at the Republican presidential debates this year. On Sept. 7, the biggest applause line of the night went to the then-234 executions that had occurred during Rick Perry’s time as governor. At the CNN/Tea Party Express debate a few days later, members of the audience voiced their support for letting an uninsured man die.
Update: TPM spoke with candidates and GOP spinmeisters after the debate about the boos.