During CNN’s presidential debate in New Hampshire, five of the seven Republicans on stage rebuffed Gates and suggested that they would reinstate the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy:
– RICK SANTORUM: The military is “not for social experimentation.” Commanders should have a “system of discipline in place that punishes ‘bad behavior,’” he stressed.
– TIM PAWLENTY: Despite being the first presidential nominee to argue that he would bring back the policy and even go after the Congressional funding to implement repeal, Pawlenty stressed that he would listen to the commanders on the ground. “We’re in a nation in two wars. I think we need to pay deference to our military commanders, particularly our combatant commanders,” he said.
– MITT ROMNEY: “I believe it should have been kept in place until conflict was over.”
– NEWT GINGRICH: He said that he would reinstate the policy, if asked to do so by the military.
– MICHELE BACHMANN: “I would keep the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy”.
Only Ron Paul and Hermain Cain argued that they would not overturn the repeal.