During the Republican debate Thursday night, host Megyn Kelly dropped a YouTube clip on Rick Santorum: a question from Stephen Hill, a soldier in Iraq who, up until this week, had to "lie about who [he] was" in order to serve in the army.
Santorum provided Hill no succor, saying that the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" injected "social engineering" into the military.
SANTORUM: I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. The fact 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 to, and 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: to defend our country...
KELLY: What would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill?
SANTORUM: What we are doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. That’s tragic. I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if Rick Santorum was president. That policy would be re-instituted as far as people in, 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 with what was happening in the past. Which was- sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself whether you are heterosexual or homosexual.
Of course, the big news of the exchange will once again be about an audience reaction. After Fox cut back from the clip of Hill, several members of the audience were heard, in a shocking demonstration of disrespect for one of our soldiers, lustily booing him. Very sad.
Sidenote: Fred Karger responded to that exchange by telling the Huffington Post, "Santorum is truly nuts. Just Google him. Congress repealed DADT. Federal court found it unconstitutional."
UPDATE: After the debate, Talking Points Memo reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro caught up with Jon Huntsman. When asked about the incident, Huntsman said the booing was "unfortunate." McMorris-Santoro also talked to a Perry representative, who used similar language, calling it "very unfortunate."