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American Soldier Booed At GOP Debate

Jim Burroway

September 23rd, 2011

Frankly, I never thought I’d see the day.

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Megyn Kelly: Senator Santorum, this question stirred up a whole lot of controversy online and comes from Stephen Hill, who is a soldier serving in Iraq.

Stephen Hill: 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. My question is, under one of your presidencies do you intend to circumvent progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military? [Scattered booing]

Sen. Rick Santorum. Yeah, I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military and the fact that 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 in 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 and that is to defend our country. [Applause] We need to give the military, which is all volunteer, the ability to do so in a way [cheering and applause] that is most efficient and protective of our men and women in uniform and I believe this undermines that ability. [more cheers and applause]

Kelly: So what would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill? I mean now he’s out. You know, you saw his face on camera. When he first submitted his video to us, it was without his face on camera. Now he’s out. So what would you do as president?

Santorum: I think, it’s… it’s… Look, what we’re doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now, and that’s tragic. I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if Rick Santorum was President. Period. That policy would be reinstituted, and as far as people who are in it, I would not throw them out, because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration. But we would move forward in conformity to what was happening in the past which was sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. [applause] Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself [applause and cheers] whether you are a heterosexual or a homosexual.

GOP candidates and their spinners in the spin room afterwards were scrambling to characterize the booing as “unfortunate.” But none of the candidates found it necessary to denounce it on stage.

UPDATE: GOProud was perhaps the first out of the gate to demand an apology:

Tonight, Rick Santorum disrespected our brave men and women in uniform, and he owes Stephen Hill, the gay soldier who asked him the question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, an immediate apology.

“That brave gay soldier is doing something Rick Santorum has never done – put his life on the line to defend our freedoms and our way of life.  It is telling that Rick Santorum is so blinded by his anti-gay bigotry that he couldn’t even bring himself to thank that gay soldier for his service.

“Stephen Hill is serving our country in Iraq, fighting a war Senator Santorum says he supports.  How can Senator Santorum claim to support this war if he doesn’t support the brave men and women who are fighting it?”

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Emcee, cubed
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

This…I have no words.

And Santorum is an idiot. In other news, water is wet…

Nathan Roe
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

I hate this kind of attitude, it’s the same attitude that’s the reason I have never come out to anyone I’ve ever worked with. To them being gay=gay sex only. We have nothing else we do with our lives.

Me, “I went to a nice dinner with my bf over the weekend”
Their translation: They had disgusting anal sex, performed all sorts of deviant acts and prowling the alleys for boys to rape

Getting rid of DADT

Person with common sense: We will no longer kick out hard working soldiers who risks their lives to protect us for who they love in their time off duty

Their translation: Roaming gangs of homosexuals will rape all of our poor innocent straight soldiers.

CB
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

GOProud is such damaged goods I don’t believe anything they say or post, even if it is pro-gay. Republicans are 0 for 2 in debates when it comes to the audience. In the CNN debate the audience thought that people should die if they don’t have health insurance, and tonight, a young man, fighting for his country is boo’d. In neither, did anyone on stage denounce the audience reactions. I also noticed that courtesy lacks in Santorum, for he didn’t even say thanks to the soldier for serving his country.

As a quickie side note, is FOX News at it again? Note approximately the 1:03 mark, you hear applause and cheers, however the audience shot shows them sitting idle.

Ryan
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

How strange that GO”Proud” will attack Santorum for his views on DADT, but not Bachman, Perry, or Romney, all of whom feel exactly as Santorum does on the issue. Actually, it’s not that odd. Rick Santorum has no supporters even within the GOP, and the others do. And am I wrong, or did Santorum just advocate for DADT to return and apply to *all* soldiers, gay or straight? Sure sounds like it, with that last bit. They really have no idea how nonsensical and easily batted down that “no private life talk in the military” talking point is, do they? Or maybe they do, but they also know that the bigoted barking seals in the audience won’t.

Gus
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Here’s the spin that will be used on Fox and Friends in a few hours:

“While the timing was unfortunate, I think the one or two members of audience were booing the policy not the serviceman, certainly no one boos any serviceman or woman.“

Now you don’t have to watch.

dave
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Santorum says: and the fact that 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 in 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 and that is to defend our country.

Recognize a group of people and give them a special privilage? To let them serve their country even though they are gay, that’s a special privilage? You already were recognizing them and giving them a special privilage by banning them you idiots. He’s obviously a christian who has to live a lie to make his religion real. Gays are already in the military now. You want them to lie so they can stay in the military to defend the country? You shouldn’t be a senator if you condone lies. What other lies do you condone?

JohnAGJ
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Absolutely disgusting. Santorum should be ashamed of himself too, but the man doesn’t have the decency to be.

But none of the candidates found it necessary to denounce it on stage.

In fairness the moderators did move on quickly, oddly not even posing the same quesiton to the others which I wish they would have done. They should have said something, and no doubt many of them are kicking themselves for not jumping in and doing so even just for PR sake, but I don’t take it as indicative of the views of all of them (except Santorum). I’m thinking especially of Gary Johnson who was there and I seriously doubt agreed with Santorum or those who were booing.

Here’s the spin that will be used on Fox and Friends in a few hours:

If that does happen folks will just have to remind them how their own staff reported about the incident. Here’s one example I foud:

In a scene that drew perhaps the loudest applause all night, Santorum explained that,
Read more: http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/09/22/santorum-sexual-activity-has-no-place-military#ixzz1YmAqjgho

SteC
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

same old, same old… just tricky rick continuing to stir up his frothy mix.

TampaZeke
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Wait a minute, you’re SURPRISED? Really? Why? You do realize that this is the same party that attacked Kerry, a Vietnam war veteran and hero with “Swift Boat” attack lies. This is the same party that called Georgia Senator Max Cleland (a veteran and TRIPLE AMPUTEE) a COWARD and summarily threw him right out of office. This is the same part that allowed an entire administration full of draft dodgers and never serveds to march us into two wars including the war in Iraq which they completely lied us into. This is the same part who slashed spending on health care for combat veterans all the while using them as campaign props.

I can’t imagine why you could possibly be surprised by anything this party does when it comes to campaigning on the backs of our military all the while treating them like criminals and cowards in the real world.

Marauder
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Heterosexuals should also keep it to themselves? Okay. No talking about spouses or even mentioning that they exist, straight people!

If Santorum thinks people should keep it to themselves whether they’re heterosexual or homosexual, I guess it’s okay for bisexual people in the military to be out and proud, then. *snort*

Nathan: The people you work with might surprise you. You never know for sure until you give somebody a chance.

MattNYC
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Notice that sexual acts are the very first thing Frothy Mix thinks of. This man has so much gay-sex-on-the-brain. I am dreading the day he is outed–I do NOT want to claim him.

John in MN
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Once again, all these assholes can focus on is SEX! A gay person is not soley defind by sex. We still pay taxes, worry about our neighborhoods, send our kids to school, worry about the mortgage, what’s the best diet for our health…etc etc etc.

I think Ricky Santorum want to crawl into bed with a guy. That’s his problem.

As for the audience. What a bunch of fucking ass-hats! Did Fox news screen audience members to see who they would let into the auditorium???

Candace
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Sexual activity in the military should be outlawed, huh? Perhaps Santorum should start with wedding rings and pictures of spouses on desks. Then kick out soldiers with children, because nothin’ says het lovin’ like all those buns in the oven, and SEX should have no place in the military! We can’t have people flaunting their sexuality that way!

Because, Frothy, we can’t have special rights for those hetero soldiers. If one has to play by your rules, they all have to play by your rules.

As for the audience, this is what the tea party is like. As a group, they are gleefully mean-spirited and hateful.

Priya Lynn
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Santorum’s dishonesty in his responses infuriates me. For example, he says

“Yeah, I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military”.

Sexual activity is still not allowed after the removal of DADT. He’s trying to make it sound as though the repeal of this policy is about allowing gay sex in the army when it has nothing to do with that, its just about allowing same sex attracted people to be as open as heterosexuals about their lives.

He also said “I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if Rick Santorum was President…But we would move forward in conformity to what was happening in the past which was sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. [applause] Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself [applause and cheers] whether you are a heterosexual or a homosexual.”.

Some have suggested he was calling for DADT to apply to heterosexuals, I’m sure that’s not the case. Its just more of his dishonesty, trying to claim gays are going to be open about their sexuality when heterosexuals never were in the past. He’s trying to claim his reinstatement of DADT would treat heterosexuals and gays equally because neither would talk about sex when in fact that’s not at all what he’d implement, he’d allow heterosexuals to continue as they have and deny gays the same openness.

Santorum’s responses were total BS in which he tried to spin it by falsely claiming DADT meant troops were treated equally and repealling it means gay soldiers get special privileges such as having sex in the barracks. And the audience just ate it up as though it were true.

John
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Sen. Rick Santorum. Yeah, I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military…”

Does that include straight sex? And what does sex have to do with anything? If one is in a foxhole in Afganistan, I would think that sex would be the last thing on anybody’s mind.

ZRAinSWVA
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Someone needs to remind Santorum and others like him that DADT actually made the armed forces less secure because it opened the door to blackmail of gay and lesbian persons.

MJC
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Good place to (once again) quote Leonard Bernstein:

“Dear Conservatives:

What are you conserving? Freedom and liberty, I would hope.”

mikeksf
September 23rd, 2011 | LINK

What was it I was supposed to Google today?

Scott Chadwick
October 2nd, 2011 | LINK

CONGRATULATIONS SENATOR!!!!!
for having the guts to stand up and say that the minority in a democratic society does not have the power to dictate policy against the majority that finds such policy repugnant!!

Timothy Kincaid
October 5th, 2011 | LINK

Scott,

Thank you for providing a clear example of how bigotry harms the bigot. Here you are proudly spouting your hate and bile and little do you know that you are also illustrating your incredible ignorance and willful stupidity.

The majority of Americans… no, the overwhelming majority of nearly every demographic of Americans… supported the overturn of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. They found the policy “repugnant!!”

Because you got your facts completely backwards, it took a bit to realize what you were trying to say. It only made sense once I realized that you are stupid.

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