President Barack Obama has spoken out
against the booing of a gay service member during Thursday night's
GOP presidential debate.
During the televised Fox News/Google
debate, presidential candidate Rick Santorum answered a question
submitted by Stephen Hill, a gay soldier serving in Iraq.
Referring to the recent repeal of
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” Hill, dressed in an Army t-shirt, asked
via a YouTube clip: “Do you intend to circumvent the progress that
has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?”
The audience booed Hill's question, but
cheered Santorum when he called DADT
repeal a “tragic social experiment” and vowed he would reinstate
the policy, if elected president. (The video is embedded in the
right panel of this page.)
At a fundraiser in San Jose, California
on Sunday, Obama criticized the audience's booing.
“Some of you here may be folks who
actually used to be Republicans but are puzzled by what's happened to
that party, are puzzled by what's happening to that party. I mean,
has anybody been watching the debates lately? You've got a governor
whose state is on fire denying climate change. It's true. You've
got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they
don't have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because
“That's not reflective of who we
said. “This is a choice about the fundamental direction of our
country. 2008 was an important direction. 2012 is a more important
Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson have also condemned the booing.