Clinton campaign: We didn't plant gay soldier
An openly gay retired soldier who quizzed Republican candidates about the military's don't ask don't tell policy was not acting on behalf of Hillary Clinton, despite his role on her campaign's gay-rights steering committee, the campaign said Thursday.
"He is not a campaign employee and was not acting on behalf of the campaign," Clinton spokesman Phil Singer told RAW STORY.
Toward the end of Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, retired Brigadier Gen. Keith Kerr asked the candidates, "Why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians."
Right-wing bloggers quickly noted that Kerr was a member of Clinton's "LGBT Americans for Hillary" steering committee. Within 40 minutes of the debate's end, Townhall.com ran a post titled, "Hillary Plants a Question in Republican Debate."
After the debate had ended CNN host Anderson Cooper acknowledged the Clinton connection and said the network was unaware of it before airing his question.
"Certainly, had we had that information, we would have acknowledged that in using his question, if we had used it at all," Cooper told viewers.
Thursday, CNN acknowledged questions about Kerr and interviewed him about his ties to Clinton.
"I have not done any work (for Clinton), several friends asked me if I would allow my name to be listed, and I agreed," Kerr said referring to his position on the steering committee.
Kerr said is a registered independent and has not donated money to Clinton or any other 2008 candidates, and he stressed that no one put him up to asking the question. A search of OpenSecrets,a campaign finance database confirms Kerr has made no donations.
"This was a private initiative on my own," Kerr told CNN host John King.
This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast on November 29, 2007.
On rival network MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, scoffed at the CNN's claim it did not know Kerr was affiliated with the campaign.
This video is from MSNBC's Morning Joe, broadcast on November 29, 2007.