Presidential candidate Tim Ryan was the recipient of significant blowback on social media after he refused to put his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem during Tuesday night’s Democratic debate.
As the choir sang the Star-Spangled Banner at the opening of the debate in Detroit, Ryan remained the only candidate standing on stage with his hands clasped in front of him.
All other candidates placed their hand over their hearts.
Was he making a political statement, appealing to the radical liberal base, or did Ryan inexplicably forget to put his hand over his heart, caught up in the moment?
Take a look …
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 31, 2019
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Critics quickly drew comparisons between Ryan and unemployed former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.
Former press secretary to George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, slammed Ryan for “appealing to the Kaepernick wing of the Democratic Party.”
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
‘The View’ co-host Meghan McCain chimed in demanding, “Put your hand over your heart for the star-spangled banner Tim Ryan!!”
Trump 2020 senior campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp suggested Ryan’s actions make him unfit to run for the White House.
— Mercedes Schlapp (@mercedesschlapp) July 31, 2019
Ryan Saavedra of the Daily Wire wrote, “All these candidates have contempt for America, Tim Ryan is just choosing to be honest about it.”
When confronted over the controversy, Ryan appeared to dismiss critics by saying he had no comment other than he “love(s) this country as much as everybody else.”
If that were the case, placing your hand over your heart would be a reflexive action.
“No, not really,” Rep. Tim Ryan says when asked if he has anything to say about causing a stir for being the only candidate for not putting his hand on his heart during the national anthem at #DemDebate.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 31, 2019
“The national anthem plays at football games, I put my hand on my heart for the Pledge of Allegiance,” Ryan further explained. “I don’t know, the choir was singing and it was great.”
Ryan’s Other Controversy
During a dramatic battle with Nancy Pelosi over the House speakership, Ryan used an ethnic slur during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in which he compared those who supported him to fine wine and those who supported the Speaker as “dago red wine.”
Ryan recently made a list compiled by Bill Maher of candidates who need to “get the f***” out of the race so the real contenders can rise to the top.
“Tim Ryan. I think he said one good thing. No,” Maher complained.
We’re guessing this unnecessary controversy won’t help the cause.
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