Rick Santorum has joined former
Governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour in pledging to undo repeal of
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”
The former Pennsylvania senator who is
considering a run at the White House was asked by Think Progress'
Igor Volsky during a campaign stop in New Hampshire: “Senator, on
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' I know you opposed [repealing] the policy.
Would you bring it back if you were president? Would you reinstate
“Yeah, I would,” Santorum answered.
(The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)
argued last week that his support for criminalizing gay sex isn't
Congress approved and President Barack
Obama signed into law a bill last year that ends the ban. But
implementation will not begin until 60 days after the president and
Pentagon leaders agree the military is ready for the change. At a
House hearing this month, military
leaders said they expect to implement repeal by summer's end.
In January, Pawlenty was the first
socially conservative Republican to say that as president he would
fight for the law's return.
On the radio program of the American
Family Association's (AFA) Bryan Fischer, Pawlenty said he would sign
such a bill.
“I've been a public supporter of
maintaining 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and I would support reinstating
it as well,” Pawlenty said.
Huckabee backed the idea last month.
“I would – because that's really
what the military wants. There's been some talk that the military is
fine with having same-sex orientation people,” he told the AFA's
News Now. “But if you really surveyed the combat troops,
that is not at all the case.”
The former Baptist minister added that
soldiers, not politicians, should decide the issue.
“I don't think that these are
decisions that politicians should make,” he said. “These are
decisions that soldiers should make. And when the soldiers in the
foxholes make the decisions, they choose something different – and
we should listen to them.”
Days later, on Fischer's program, Haley
Barbour joined the chorus, saying that an “amorous mindset” would
interfere with critical decision making on the battlefield.
“When you're under fire and people
are living and dying of split-second decisions you don't need any
kind of amorous mindset that can affect saving people's lives and
killing bad guys,” Barbour told his host. “You look at the data
and it is the foot soldier that is the person who is out there, boots
on the ground, who was most against this.”