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Romney on Booing: Audience Was Expressing Its View

Romney on Booing: Audience Was Expressing Its View


President Obama condemned booing of a gay soldier for its "smallness." But don't expect Mitt Romney "to correct people on their expressions of their view" as he runs for president.

The former front runner was finally forced to say something about the incident, which happened during the most recent Republican debate. He was asked about it during an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader.

"I haven't made it my practice to listen to the cheers and the boos and try to correct the people on their expressions of their view," Romney said in a video clip from Think Progress, seeming to issue a new personal policy on what he will and won't do during debates.

The president has seemed to want to make their reaction (or lack of) a question about how they'd serve as commander in chief.

"You want to be Commander-in-Chief?" he challenged the Republicans during a speech to the Human Rights Campaign this weekend. "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."

Before that, Obama had raised the booing during a fundraiser in California as "not reflective of who we are."

Romney acknowledged hearing the boos, but he claimed to be unsure "when they booed and I don't know why people booed." Audience members could be heard on video booing the soldier after he asked about repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

Tea party darling Herman Cain (who rivals Romney in latest polling) said this weekend that he regretted not standing up for the soldier. And even Rick Santorum condemned the booing, having been asked about it first because he said nothing when given the chance on stage to answer the soldier's question.

But Romney appears unwilling to give an opinion. In his answer, he seemed to speak out against another incident at a debate when the audience cheered for state executions. But he still offered no opinion on the booing of the gay soldier.

"I don't know that cheering for executions is something I would agree with either," he said. "But I don't raise my hand and say 'Please let me talk, I want to tell everyone you shouldn't be cheering.'"

Democrats have pressed the issue, with everyone from Obama to Vice President Joe Biden to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi condemning the party's hopefuls for standing silent -- none of them even issuing the standard "thank you for your service" line that politicians so often give members of the military.

Texas governor Rick Perry, the new and struggling front runner, has yet to be faced with a question about the booing.

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