GOP Debate ... Live!

Posted by Chris Geidner
June 13, 2011 8:01 PM |

I'll be liveblogging the GOP 2012 presidential debate taking place in New Hampshire and broadcast on CNN here should any LGBT questions or answers arise or other related news of interest to LGBT people, but be sure to follow me on Twitter for live coverage.

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8:12: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced that she filed the paperwork necessary to be a declared candidate for president.

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9:18: Bachmann is asked about same-sex marriage, which is legal in New Hampshire:

I do believe in the Tenth Amendment, and I do believe in self-determination for the states. I also believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

And I believe, for children, the best possible way to raise children is to have a mother and father in their life.

Asked about whether she would support repeal of marriage equality there as president:

I'm running for the presidency of the United States, and I don't see that it's the role of a president to go into states and interfere with their state law.

Then, John King asked the candidates if they are more of a "George W. Bush Republican" -- meaning they would support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage -- or a "Dick Cheney Republican" -- meaning it should be a state's decision.

Herman Cain: "State's decision."

Tim Pawlenty: "I support a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman."

Ron Paul: "The federal government shouldn't be involved. I wouldn't support an amendment. ... Get the government out of it."

Mitt Romney: "Constitutional."

Newt Gingrich: "I helped author the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Obama administration should be, frankly, protecting in court. I think if that fails, at that point, you have no choice except to have a constitutional amendment."

Rick Santorum: "Constitutional amendment. Look, a constitutional amendment includes the states. Three-quarters of the states have to ratify it, so the states will be involved in this process. We should have one law in the country with respect to marriage.

Bachmann then came in with a somewhat contradictory caveat to her earlier answer: "I do support a constitutional amendment on marriage between a man and a woman, but I would not be going into the states to overturn their state law."

The constitutional amendment regarding marriage that has been considered in the past in Congress would, if passed and ratified, have the end result of overturning any state law allowing same-sex marriages.

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9:21: A follow-up question from John King asked the candidates if they would leave open gay, lesbian and bisexual service in the military, assuming that it had been fully repealed, should they take office.

Cain: "If I had my druthers, I never would have overturned 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in the first place. Now that they have changed it, I wouldn't create a distraction trying to turn it over as president."

Pawlenty: "I think we need to pay deference to our military commanders, particularly our combatent commanders. In this case, I would take my cues from them ...."

Paul: "I would not work to overthrow it."

Romney: "I believe that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' should have been kept in place until a conflict was over."

Gingrich: "I think it's very powerful that both the Army and the Marines overwhelming opposed changing it, that they're recommendation was against changing it. And if as president I met with them, and they said, 'You know, it isn't working. It is dangerous. It's disrupting unit morale, and we should go back,' I would listen to the commanders whose lives are at risk about the young men and women that they are in fact trying to protect."

Bachmann: "I would keep the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy."

Asked to clarify if she would try to reverse the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act, she said, "I would -- after again, following much just what the Speaker just said, I would want to confer with our commanders-in-chief and also with the Joint Chiefs of Staff because I'd want to know how it was being implemented and if it has had the detrimental effects that have been suggested that will come."

Obviously, the president is the commander-in-chief, and King's question made Bachmann president in this scenario. It sounded like she just misspoke.

Santorum: "The job of the United States military is to protect and defend the people of this country. It is not for social experimentation. It should be repealed, and the commanders should have a system of discipline in place ... that punishes bad behavior."

It is unclear to me what he meant by that, exactly and King didn't ask him to clarify.


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