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Heckler: “Where Were You When They Booed the Gay Soldier?”

Heckler: “Where Were You When They Booed the Gay Soldier?”


At Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, when Rick Santorum blamed economic woes on the breakdown of traditional families, he got heckled by an Iraq war vet who also objected to the booing of a gay soldier at an earlier debate.

"I said, 'Yeah, right, you say you want American values back in the American family, then where were you when they booed the gay soldier during the last debate?'" Andrew Vera of Hanover told the news website Concord Patch. "Let's get real. As an Iraq veteran, I think it's pitiful."

During the debate, Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, said that "the biggest problem with poverty in America ... is the breakdown of the American family." He added, "We need to have a policy that supports families, that encourages marriage." A ThinkProgressblogger was among observers who saw the statements as "a veiled swipe at same-sex couples."

Vera is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where the debate was held. He faces a disorderly conduct charge for his outburst, but he told the Patch he had "no regrets" and that he was motivated by his pride as a veteran. "No regrets at all," he said. "I served in the U.S. Navy, in support and defense of the Constitution. It's a living document."

Watch the heckling moment below.

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