Audio of Pace is at the Trib. He told the editors he supports “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and yet —
“I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts,” Pace said in a wide-ranging discussion with Tribune editors and reporters in Chicago. “I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.
Except “don’t ask, don’t tell” does implicitly say it’s okay to be “immoral” provided you keep it to yourself. I’m not sure how he’s squaring that circle, unless he isn’t and this is just him paying lip service to DADT so as not to have to revisit the policy right now.
Romney’s response is clever, essentially applying a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to public officials’ moral beliefs, although it won’t endear him to his target audience. Which is why Sam Brownback’s campaign is going right after him, to show who the “real” social conservative in the race is. Poor Mitt — he’s got Brownback zeroing in on him from the right and soon enough, I suspect, Giuliani and McCain from the left. Why? Because he’s probably closest to being what most Republicans traditionally want in a candidate. Best for everyone else to knock him out before he gains some traction, then take their chances with each other.