Speaking at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, President Barack Obama took a shot at his Republican opponents, calling them unpresidential for remaining silent while the audience at a debate booed a gay member of the military.Obama told the crowd that he doesn’t believe “in staying silent” when a young man in uniform is booed, adding that a Commander-in-chief would have stood up for this young man.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and former Sen. Rick Santorum said they were upset by the booing after the debate was completed — but none of the candidates rose to defend the soldier, who asked whether the candidates would seek to reinstate the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
From the official transcript:
We don’t believe in a small America. We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s OK 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. (Applause.) We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. (Applause.) We don’t believe in them being silent since. (Applause.) 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. (Applause.)
We don’t believe in a small America. We believe in a big America — a tolerant America, a just America, an equal America — that values the service of every patriot. (Applause.) We believe in an America where we’re all in it together, and we see the good in one another, and we live up to a creed that is as old as our founding: E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. And that includes everybody. That’s what we believe. That’s what we’re going to be fighting for. (Applause.)
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