Responding to Barack Obama's explanation for why he stopped wearing an American flag pin on his lapel during the lead-up to the Iraq war, because it had become "a substitute for, I think, true patriotism," Fox News Live co-host E.D. Hill said: "When I heard this, actually, one of the direct quotes [of Obama] that got to me was 'I won't wear that pin.' It reminded me of the 'I didn't have sex with that woman.' " Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano then accused Obama of "disrespecting the American flag," while his Fox News Radio co-host, Brian Kilmeade, said that Obama was "anti-Betsy Ross."
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During the October 5 edition of Fox News Live, discussing a recent interview with an Iowa reporter in which Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) said that he stopped wearing a American flag pin on his lapel during the lead-up to the Iraq war, co-host E.D. Hill said: "When I heard this, actually, one of the direct quotes [of Obama] that got to me was 'I won't wear that pin.' It reminded me of the 'I didn't have sex with that woman,' " a reference to a statement President Bill Clinton made regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. She continued: "But on the flip side of that, it's a pin. Who cares if he wears it? I wear mine sometimes, not others." Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano accused Obama of "disrespecting the American flag." His co-host on Fox News Radio's Brian & the Judge, Brian Kilmeade, said that Obama was "anti-Betsy Ross" and that Obama should "apologize to the people ... who are working the fields, that were Marines, who were in the Army."
During an October 3 interview with KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Obama was asked why he was not wearing an American flag pin on his lapel -- a pin many politicians began wearing shortly after September 11, 2001. Obama said in response that "right after 9/11 I had a pin," adding: "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security." According to Obama: "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest; instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great. Hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."
From the 11 a.m. ET hour of the October 5 edition of Fox News Live:
HILL: Democrat Barack Obama making his presidential campaign a no-pin zone, taking some heat over his explanation for why he stopped wearing a flag pin. The Illinois senator says he stopped wearing the flag pin, which he had put on after the 9-11 attacks, because he feels it is a hypocritical substitute for true patriotism. Well, here's what he said to a crowd in Iowa. Let's take a look at it. "Shortly after 9-11, particularly because, as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security." Now, Obama says everyone should be less concerned with what's on his lapel than what's in his heart. Joining us is Fox News Radio's Brian Kilmeade and Judge Andrew Napolitano, co-hosts of Brian and the Judge. When I heard this, actually, one of the direct quotes that got to me was, "I won't wear that pin." It reminded me of the "I didn't have sex with that woman." But on the flip side of that, it's a pin. Who cares if he wears it? I wear mine sometimes, not others.
NAPOLITANO: I think he's disrespecting the American flag, E.D., but I understand why he's doing it. He's appealing to a hard-left audience. That's the only way he can catch up with Hillary Clinton, and they agree that wearing the pin means you're pro-war.
KILMEADE: So what you're saying is he's kissing up to the people who don't like the American flag?
KILMEADE: How will that benefit anybody?
NAPOLITANO: Right, it will benefit him because he will get him votes that he otherwise won't get if he wears that pin. That's the mentality he has to appeal to.
KILMEADE: Well, here's the thing, E.D., what we' re getting from callers, almost nine out of 10 that we've gotten on this subject, and we're looking at a whole bunch of topics, have said: "Barack Obama, put it on, and your explanation does not fly." So you have to wonder, he's got to focus on Iowa. So the people of Iowa, when he goes and catches up to people in the field, no one's going to say, "I'm not voting for you, you're wearing the pin." But how many are going to say, "I'm not voting -- I will vote for you because you are wearing the pin"? That you -- just play the odds.
HILL: But guys, I mean, look at it. Brian, you and I did a show for a long time together. Both of us had on flag pins for probably a number of years. I haven't been wearing it probably the past year. But that doesn't make us any less patriotic, does it?
NAPOLITANO: I don't think it makes you any less patriotic at all. I don't wear the pin and I'm a patriot. I fly the flag at my home, and I say a prayer when I think of it for all those who died that I can fly that flag. But that's -- I'm not the type of person Barack Obama is appealing to.
KILMEADE: I just think --
NAPOLITANO: He's appealing to a lot of people that want us to lose the war.
KILMEADE: He's anti-Betsy Ross, and she's one of my favorite female figures, and for that I stand up for you, Betsy.
HILL.: Although the truth is Betsy Ross didn't sew that flag. One of those American --
KILMEADE: More on that later.
HILL: -- American myths. More on that later, or not.
KILMEADE: I'm buying that myth.
HILL: But do you think it really does matter, Brian, because it seems like it's because he was wearing it for so long that it was odd when he took it off, and that's where the catch comes?
KILMEADE: Well, look, as his wife said, "If we don't win Iowa, we cannot win. The dream is over." My feeling is, why take a stand, he stumbled into it, and it does not seem as though it is something that he really thought out well. I think he's got to apologize to the people, for example, who are working the fields, that were Marines, who were in the Army --
HILL: What, apologize for not wearing a pin?
KILMEADE: Well, to say that the American flag is -- wearing the American flag shows too much patriotism? I mean, that's what he is insinuating.
HILL: Well, no, he said he didn't need to wear it to show patriotism.
NAPOLITANO: But to the crowd from whom he wants votes, wearing the flag is too much patriotism. Doesn't make sense to you and me.
HILL: And we'll see how it plays in Iowa, as they say.