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Democratic presidential candidate Tim Ryan brushed off the criticism he received on Tuesday after he is the only candidate on the stage, not placing a hand over his heart during the national anthem, says he loves the USA “as much as anyone else.”
Ryan, D-Ohio, not to let out a laugh when he was told, he faced backlash from Ari Fleischer, Meghan McCain and others on Twitter after the first night in the second round of Democratic debates, on Tuesday in Detroit as the only one on the stage, put his hand on his heart, as the “Star Spangled Banner” was sung.
TIM RYAN CALLED FOR THE PLACEMENT OF THE HAND ON THE HEART FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT THE DEBATE
“I love this country as much as any other,” Ryan told ABC News after the debate ended. Ryan folded his hands in front of him, below his waist, instead of a hand over his heart, as Pastor Marvin L. Winans’ perfecting Church choir sang the anthem.
“The national anthem plays at football games, I put my hand on my heart for the Pledge of Allegiance,” he continued, in his own defense. “I don’t know, the choir sang, and it was great,” he said, seemingly dusting the incident.
Some Twitter users, however, speculated Ryan deliberately chosen not to put his hand on his heart, as a political statement.
“Rep. Tim Ryan didn’t know put his hand on his heart during the national anthem,” wrote former George W. Bush press Secretary and Fox News contributor, Ari Fleischer. “I think he is attractive for Kaepernick wing of the Democratic party.”
In the past, the former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and other athletes knelt either, during the national anthem or put their hands over their hearts, as a form of protest against the brutality of the police against minorities.
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Meghan McCain added: “you Put your hand over your heart for the star spangled banner Tim Ryan!!!”
In 2007, Barack Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois at the time, given the scope for failure, put his hand on his heart during the singing of the national anthem in Iowa before a debate with Democratic primary rival, Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton, the Washington Examiner reported.
While on Tuesday, the debate, Ryan was standing next to South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Texas Rep. Beto O’rourke, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, author Marianne Williamson, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, the former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Williamson first of all, do not place your hand over your heart, but did so half-way through the song, they appear to take a cue from the other candidates.
Fox News Gregg Re contributed to this report.