In his speech at Saturday’s annual Human Rights Campaign fundraising dinner, the President gave the smack down to the candidates from the last Republican debate.
“We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the President of the United States — being silent when an American soldier is booed,” Obama said. “You want to be Commander-in-Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.” (via.)
A youtube video of the whole speech, plus clip from the aforementioned GOP debate incident, after the jump:
What spawned this response was that during the Fox sponsored debate a question from a gay soldier was put forth to the candidates:
“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,” explained the soldier, Stephen Hill. “My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you plan to do anything to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers”
The Republican audience, a population that is typically deferential toward active military men and women, then booed, and the candidate who had to answer the question, reliably anti-gay Rick Santorum, appeared equally disdainful, insisting “sexual activity has no place in the military” and that DADT’s repeal gave gay soldiers a special “privilege” akin to “social engineering” and that he would reinstate it upon taking office. The crowd ate it up. Here’s a clip of the event in question: