At the last Republican presidential debate, the audience booed a gay soldier who asked the candidates whether they would reinstate the ban on military service of openly gay soldiers. Today on CBS’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer confronted Sen. John McCain — who actively opposed the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ — on whether he thought the GOP candidates should spoken up about the now-widely condemned audience reaction. McCain replied, “Yeah, I do”:
SCHIEFFER: Do you think that the Republican candidates should have spoken up at that debate about [the booing]?
MCCAIN: Yeah, I do. But a lot of times when you’re in a debate you think about what you’re going to say, what the question is going to be. It’s hard to react sometimes. But I’m sure…I would bet that every Republican on that stage did not agree with that kind of behavior.
Many of the Republican candidates, however, are not backing up McCain’s bet, having chosen to continue their silence on the matter. Today on ABC’s This Week, Herman Cain even offered a poor defense of the debate audience. “I happen to think that maybe they were booing the whole “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” repeal more so than booing that soldier. But we didn’t know that,” said Cain. However, he did say that “in retrospect” he should have responded to the booing.