The GOP presidential candidates were mostly quiet on Sunday following a scathing rebuke from President Barack Obama on Saturday evening for not coming to the defense of a gay soldier after audience members booed him during a recent Republican debate.
One exception, however, was Georgia businessman Hermain Cain, who told ABC News that he should not have remained silent following the audience jeers.
Speaking at the HRC Nation Dinner on Saturday, Obama took GOP candidates to task for staying silent when audience members booed Stephen Hill, a gay soldier serving in Iraq, who asked, “Do you intend to circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?”
None of the nine eight candidates participating in the debate defended the soldier, or thanked him for his service.
“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,” the President said on Saturday.
Appearing on “This Week” earlier Sunday, Cain told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour that it would have been “appropriate” for him to have defended the soldier.
“In retrospect, because of the controversy it has created and because of the different interpretations that it could have had, yes, that probably — that would have been appropriate,” Cain said.
Cain said he thought the audience was “booing the whole ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal more so than booing that soldier.”
Last week, in an appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Vice-President Joe Biden called the audience jeers “reprehensible.”