Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) has joined fellow potential Republican presidential contenders Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) and Mike Huckabee (R-AR) in supporting the reinstatement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, telling America Family Foundation’s Brian Fischer that he supports rolling back repeal out of fear that “amorous mindsets” would interfere with “saving people’s lives and killing bad guys”:
BARBOUR: Let’s look at the best evidence that we have. They did research to see what military people thought about this idea. The closest to the ground, the soldier on the ground, was the most opposed to this. And it’s not necessarily over homosexuality. Its over the fact that when you’re under fire and people are living and dying of split-second decisions you don’t need any kind of amorous mindset that can effect saving people’s lives and killing bad guys. You look at the data and it is the foot-soldier that is the person who is out there, boots on the ground, who was most against this. And it’s because they live or die with this and that’s who we ought to be listening to, that’s who we ought to be caring about and that’s why I am against it. I think it ought to be rolled back. I just don’t see how you can take any other position if the person you are trying to protect is the soldier who is actually in combat.
Despite Barbour’s rather insulting concerns about “amorous mindsets” in the ranks, a majority of servicemembers who participated in the Pentagon’s survey of the policy — upwards of 70% — didn’t believe that gay troops would undermine unit morale or cohesion. According to the report, combat units expressed more negative views about open service (40–60% in the Marine Corps and in various combat arms specialties) because of inexperience with gay servicemembers — opposition that would likely deteriorate with proper leadership and training.
Of the three Republicans who have publicly called for reinstating the ban, only Pawlenty has called for recalling the funds necessary for implementing repeal. None of the presidential hopefuls explained how bringing back the policy would actually play out operationally, however. (H/T: Right Wing Watch)