Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) was the only candidate to not place his hand over his heart during the national anthem at Tuesday night’s Democratic debate.
Ryan stood with his hands clasped in front of him during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner while his nine opponents had their hands over their hearts. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) even sang along.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 31, 2019
“Put your hand over your heart for the Star Spangled Banner Tim Ryan!” Meghan McCain, a co-host of The View, wrote on Twitter.
Put your hand over your heart for the star spangled banner Tim Ryan!!! #DemocraticDebate
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) July 31, 2019
“Rep. Tim Ryan didn’t put his hand over his heart during the national anthem. I guess he’s appealing to the Kaepernick wing of the Democratic Party,” said Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President George W. Bush.
Rep. Tim Ryan didn’t put his hand over his heart during the national anthem. I guess he’s appealing to the Kaepernick wing of the Democratic Party.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) July 31, 2019
Ryan’s campaign released a statement Wednesday morning attributing the moment to “absentmindedness.”
“Congressman Ryan wasn’t protesting and didn’t mean to make any statement last night in Detroit, it was a moment of absentmindedness while on a debate stage that won’t happen again,” the campaign said. “Congressman Ryan loves our country and will continue to honor the flag during the anthem in future events.”
As Battleground State News reported, presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke invited four former Lansing Catholic High School football players who knelt during the national anthem before games to Tuesday night’s debate. O’Rourke said the four of them “have served their community in one of the most American ways possible.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tim Ryan” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0. Background Photo “Debate Stage” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.