Santorum: ‘I condemn’ booing of gay soldier, didn’t hear it
September 23rd, 2011
08:14 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: ‘I condemn’ booing of gay soldier, didn’t hear it

(CNN) - White House hopeful Rick Santorum said he didn't hear boos from the audience when a gay soldier asked a question via YouTube at Thursday night's GOP presidential debate.

"I condemn the people who booed that gay soldier," Santorum said on Fox News Friday. "Certainly had I heard them, I would have said, 'Don't do that. This man is serving our country and we are to thank him for his service’."

At the debate, sponsored by Fox News and Google, the soldier asked the candidates if they had plans to fight the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which went into effect Tuesday.

"In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was because I'm a gay soldier and I didn't want to lose my job," said Stephen Hill. "My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?"

A few jeers from the crowd of thousands could be heard as the video finished.

In response to the question, Santorum, an unapologetic social conservative, said any type of sexual activity has no place in the military and argued that the policy be reinstituted.

"Sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue," Santorum said. "Leave it alone, keep it - keep it to yourself, whether you're a heterosexual or a homosexual."

The exchange at the debate drew criticism Friday from advocates of the DADT repeal, including the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

“No service member defending our freedoms in Iraq should be booed for expressing his or her views as an individual," said SLDN director Aubrey Sarvis in a statement. "I regret that this brave patriot was not defended last night in Orlando and that no candidate spoke up to say ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal has been settled by Congress and our nation’s senior military leaders."

– CNN's Adam Levine contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Don't Ask Don't Tell • Rick Santorum
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. RedMan

    He didn't hear it??? Wow, just wow. It's like these actually guys get off on lying. And tier mouth-breathing supporters eat it up...
    Whoever supports these people are nothing more than trash in a trailer. And you know you can take the trash out of the trailer, but not the trailer out of the trash..

    September 24, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Seattle Sue

    Santorum should have his hearing checked as well as his brain. You say, you would have defended that military man but you like the people in the crowd put him down. You, Mr Santorium are a jerk, always have been and always will remain a jerk.

    September 24, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Jice

    I have no qualms about electing a hearing impaired president, but he at least needs to know sign language.

    September 24, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Rajeev G

    If you did not hear the loud Booos in the room you were present then how can you hear the silent voices of million of Americans when you become the President! You do not deserve to be the President because you let a serving Soldiers booed in your presence!
    Your narrow mind thinking is besides the point!

    September 24, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. GOP = Greed Over People

    if your "christian zealot" head had not been stuck up your ass, you would have heard it, everyone else in the hall did.

    September 24, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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