WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says that he should not have stayed silent after the audience at a recent GOP debate booed a gay soldier.

The Georgia businessman told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that it would have been “appropriate” for him to have defended the soldier. None of the candidates at the Sept. 22 forum responded to the booing.

Cain’s remarks came after President Barack Obama on Saturday chastised the GOP candidates at the debate, saying the nation’s commander in chief should stand up for Americans in uniform.

The soldier was booed when he asked via a recorded video if any of the candidates would try to circumvent what he called progress for gays and lesbians in uniform.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.