Rick Santorum ‘Did Not Hear’ Debate Audience Booing Gay Soldier

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In each of the past three GOP primary debates, the audience has found new ways to disturb and horrify us. In the September 7 debate, the audience erupted in applause when it was noted that Rick Perry has overseen more executions than any governor in modern times. In the September 12 debate, a few members of the audience shouted "Yeah!" when Wolf Blitzer asked if an uninsured man should be allowed to die. But last night may have topped them all. A few members of the audience actually booed a soldier serving in Iraq because the soldier was concerned about protections for gay soldiers like himself.

Not a single candidate out of the hundred or so onstage said a word about the disrespect shown to someone who was risking his life in service to his country. But today, Rick Santorum, who fielded the soldier's question, condemned the audience's reaction. If he'd only heard the boos, he told Fox News this afternoon, he would have spoken up.


“Yeah, well, I condemn the people who booed that gay soldier,” said Santorum. “That soldier is serving our country, I thank him for his service to our country. I’m sure he’s doing an excellent job. I hope he is safe, and I hope he returns safely, and does his mission well.

“I have to admit, I seriously did not hear those boos. Had I heard them, I certainly would have commented on them. But as you know, when you’re in that sort of environment, you’re focused on the question and formulating your answer. And I just didn’t hear those couple of boos that were out there."

"But certainly, had I, I would have said that that was — I would have said, don’t do that, this man is serving our country, and we are to thank him for his service.”

Well, that's nice of him and all. We're not exactly buying that he didn't hear anything, though. Check out the video again. Santorum certainly hesitates as the boos die down, as if he was being interrupted. Maybe it was a coincidence.

Santorum: ‘I Condemn The People Who Booed That Gay Soldier’ (VIDEO) [TPM]