November 29th, 2007
12:07 AM ET
15 years ago

General from GOP debate linked to Democratic campaign

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (CNN) - During Wednesday night's CNN-YouTube debate retired brigadier general Keith Kerr, posed a powerful question about gays in the military. The general had been invited to attend the debate and was given an opportunity to address whether his question was answered.

Following the debate, CNN learned that Kerr was listed as a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Americans For Hillary Clinton Steering Committee.

CNN Senior Vice President and Executive Producer of the debate, David Bohrman, says, "We regret this, and apologize to the Republican candidates. We never would have used the General's question had we known that he was connected to any presidential candidate."

Prior to the debate, CNN had verified his military background and that he had not contributed any money to any presidential candidate.

Following the debate, Kerr told CNN that he's done no work for the Clinton campaign. He says he is a member of the Log Cabin Republicans and was representing no one other than himself.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Rachel, Georgia

    What a suprise. The liberal media planting a guy like that in the crowd. I knew something was up with that. And by the way, they DID answer his question with a big fat no.

    November 29, 2007 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  2. John, Richmond, Va

    Psh, who cares if he's worked with Clinton before? His question had nothing to do with that. If he didn't ask it, they would(or at least should) have found someone else to.

    November 29, 2007 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  3. Will, Tampa FL

    Good response from CNN. Now watch the GOP spin this until everyone in the room is dizzy. It's a non-story, CNN is keeping it that way. But something tells me the conservative airways are going to be mentioning this quite a bit.

    November 29, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  4. scott

    wow CNN made this mistake?? No shock there.

    November 29, 2007 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  5. bcarl314

    I guess I don't see the problem here. I mean, is CNN so afraid of not steering the debate that they won't let any real questions be asked? Is CNN just pulling a "Bush" and stacking the audience with lame, predictable people with lame, predictable questions?

    How can we, the voters, possibly determine who is best under fire if every debate has pre-selected questions where the candidates can forumlate a response before the question is even asked?

    November 29, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  6. Tony, Boston

    Well, how did the candidates answer? Forget who asked the question... what were the answers????? Loser media – you don't know what really counts

    November 29, 2007 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  7. Allan Camden, SC

    Why should CNN apologize?? It was a perfectly valid question. As far as I'm concerned, there should have been far more pointed questions. For example, instead of just asking if the candidates would veto any tax increase, the question should have been "would you veto a tax increase if doing so means another huge increase in the federal deficit?" You let those men off the hook. They could give answers that satisfy the right wing but do not address the important issue of consequences. Shame on you. I live with CNN on my TV and computer, and I expect better of you.

    November 29, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  8. Stephen Scott Lykens, Philadelphia PA

    So what!!! The general's question was extremely fair and non-partison. I am disgraced that a party I support, I am a registered republican, refused to properly answer and address the general's question. I am personally not gay and do not condone or support that lifestyle. I am aslo not a soldier, never was a soldier, and hope never will voluntarily be a member of the United States military. If I was in the military during a time of conflict or war, I would certainly be more concerened for a soldiers ability to protect and have my back on the battlefield more than his sexual orientation.

    November 29, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  9. aj huntington ny

    Hillary "planted" the question in Las Vegas now she's pulled off a more daring and outrageous stunt : planting a Youtube video in the Republican debate ! Is CNN complicit ?

    November 29, 2007 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  10. Morrie, San Diego, CA

    A more accurate title:

    "General from GOP debate linked to Clinton campaign"

    November 29, 2007 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  11. Jeff, Melbourne, FL

    The question was a good question regardless of its source and the answers were pathetic! Also, I seriously doubt the Clinton campaign planted this question. It is totally the responsibility of the individual to have full disclosure, which he did not do and apparently even lied to CNN about his affiliation.

    November 29, 2007 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  12. Dave, New York, NY

    the guy is a member of a republican club, so what's the big deal?

    for that matter, so what if he wasn't? he served our country and soldiers deserve some respect for their service.

    it was a legitimate question.

    November 29, 2007 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  13. Joe, Newark

    Makes sense that he wasn't vetted. He also got more time to talk then the candidates!

    November 29, 2007 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  14. Ben, Medford, MA

    Wow. I hope this gets blown up. The Clinton New Network strikes again.

    I don't understand how anyone can possibly take CNN or Hillary Clinton seriously.

    November 29, 2007 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  15. Rob, Miami, Florida

    When asked if the candidates answered his question, he said no and no. In reality both of the responders gave him an answer and it was clearly "NO" and "NO" (well maybe Romney was a little muddy in his response. Just because he didn't hear the answer he wanted doesn't mean they dodged his question in anyway – he just was too close minded to listen.

    November 29, 2007 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  16. Mark, Minneapolis, MN

    What difference does it make? He's an American voter with a question. Let's focus on the ANSWERS to a very important questions – and once again, the Republicans came down on the side of bigotry and nonsense. Under "don't ask don't tell" 12,000 qualified people have been drummed out of the military – and this at a time when we need good people. Outrageous.

    November 29, 2007 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  17. Cathy, Surprise, AZ

    Duncan Hunter et al answered the question. Period. If Kerr did not like the answers – too bad.
    Why did CNN introduce only Kerr to the audience and not the others? Because CNN is still biased. Lykens: you should thank your lucky stars that our US soliders protect your freedom of speech.

    November 29, 2007 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  18. Angela, Troy, MI

    So many potted plants. Who knew Hillary had such a green thumb?

    November 29, 2007 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  19. Joshua Maye, Washington, DC

    Regardless whether or not the General was connected to the Hilliary camp, his question was valid and deserved an answer, which it did get. Personally whether you think homosexuality is right or wrong, when a man or woman is willing to serve their country and possibly die, sexual orientation shouldn't be an issue.

    November 29, 2007 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  20. Ace, Grand Rapids, MI

    Im sure not mad! Someone had to call the Republicans out on their homophobic agenda!!

    November 29, 2007 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  21. Tim Kelley, St. Paul, MN

    I Knew that gay military man's elongated airtime was fishy–but he was able to vett yet another Romney Flip flop with his underhanded appearance. Huckabee won the debate Hands down. He is the most articulate, humble, real candidate out of all of them-after all the verbal stumbles of the Bush presidency we have finally discovered someone who can communicate republican principles with wit & wisdom. McCain came out ok. Romney just got a NOT his night. I wonder what Hugh Hewitt and all those who were so ready to give Romney the mantle of conservatism are doing after this one. HUCKABEE is a force to be contended with, and tonight he showed WHY he is on the rise in Iowa. The Underdog is poised to take a bite out of Rudy McRomney on Jan 3rd. The others were all a distant..3rd...Duncan Hunter had some ok stuff and Fred is frankly coming across as kinda like..hey man ..someone please pick me for VP so I can sport my hot wife around DC. And what was with the INQUISTION Style question the crackpot youtuber asked about the Bible(As if he has ever read it)(and all the man on man gay questions...and the rebel flag...weird..there had to be some better questions that those...but wow did the gays in the military question make Romney look like a TOTAL flip flopper...what a bad night for him. (I just found out that the gay ex military man that they gave all the air time to in the debate is on Hillary's sterring commitee..(really cheesy).hmmm Mitt wished he hadn't shown up.

    November 29, 2007 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  22. John, CA

    Apologize to the Americans who didnt get to have their voice heard because you chose to air this question instead...and while your at it apologize for planting Democratic activists (plural) and posing them as "undecided voters" Its not a mistake now ...Its a trend

    November 29, 2007 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  23. Steve, New Orleans, LA

    LOL. CNN apologized to the Republican candidates for having a gay man ask them a question? How ridiculous.

    How about CNN apologize to it's viewers for being so wimpy and pathetic.

    November 29, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  24. Nick L. from Kentucky

    Are you kidding me? I watched Anderson Cooper take the words of Williams Bennett as fact. How dare you edit the video and now we won't see that in the replays? You better no play that game CNN. How dare you. Check your facts and get over it. It was a legitimate question and answered honestly.

    November 29, 2007 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  25. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "Hillary "planted" the question in Las Vegas now she's pulled off a more daring and outrageous stunt : planting a Youtube video in the Republican debate ! Is CNN complicit ?"

    Yes, aj! It's true! It's a VAST, LEFT WING CONSPIRACY!!

    November 29, 2007 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
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