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Crowd boos gay soldier at Republican debate


Crowd boos gay soldier at Republican debate

Adam Russett September 23, 2011

The third Republican presidential debate kicked off in Florida on Thursday night, and although there were some heated exchanges between the candidates, it was the crowd that once again stole the show.

Moderator Megyn Kelly introduced a clip from a gay Iraq war veteran who asked Rick Santorum whether or not the recently Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy would be put back in place if he were president. Before he could answer, however, the audience gave the veteran a smattering of boos before cheering Santorum's answer, The Huffington Post reports.

"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," he responded. "I think tries to inject social policy into the military."

While the question, and the audience reaction, was one of the more memorable moments of the night, the larger focus of the debate was how each candidate would help jump start the still-struggling U.S. economy as well as how they would handle Social Security. Once again, Mitt Romney used the latter to pounce on Rick Perry, quoting the Texas governor as saying the federal government should not be in the pension business, MSNBC reports.

However, Perry responded with a few jabs as well, characterizing Romney as "Obama-lite" and criticizing his so-called liberal stances on social issues.

Of course, Romney and Perry were not the only candidates on stage, and Michele Bachmann once again tried to make herself heard. However, her most memorable moment came when she was pressed on a statement she made last week that HPV vaccinations cause mental retardation after condemning Perry's mandate of the vaccine.