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On the October 5 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, former radio host Mark Williams claimed that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), "took his flag pin off after 9-11, and he felt, apparently, some sort of an affinity or some sort of a connection, because at that point he felt it OK to come out of the closet as the domestic insurgent he is."
David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation magazine, appearing along with Williams, noted that Obama recently said that he decided not to wear the pin "shortly after 9-11," not because of 9-11, as Williams suggested. When Corn said that Obama chose to take the pin off "because he didn't like the run-up to the [Iraq] war, and he decided that you show your patriotism by your ideals, not by what you wear on your lapel," Williams asked, "What has Obama done to demonstrate the patriotism that he says doesn't belong on his lapel? What's he done to demonstrate that, except get out there, badmouth this country, and help demoralize the troops, and help do his part to undermine this nation?"
Williams went on to suggest that Obama might "like a cloth flag and a match," and called the "Democrat [sic] Party" the "domestic enemy."
From the October 5 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:
BILL HEMMER (co-host): All right, Barack Obama wants to be president, right? This week he was asked why he no longer wears an American flag lapel pin on his suit. Instead the Illinois senator saying that he wants to show Americans his beliefs are a testament to his patriotism. How's this going to impact his campaign? Let's debate that now with radio talk show host Mark Williams and the Washington editor for The Nation, David Corn. Gentlemen, welcome to both of you here.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
CORN: Good to be here.
HEMMER: David, you first, now how does this decision win votes? That's the name of the game, right?
CORN: Uh, excuse me. Last night, on this very network, there was an interview with Fred Thompson. Guess what he had on his lapel? No flag pin. I went on to the websites this morning of John McCain and Mitt Romney. Found lots of pictures of them, no flag pin, flag pin. I looked at Congressional Quarterly this morning, and I did see a picture of Larry Craig, the disgraced senator who's not giving up his seat. There was a flag pin.
HEMMER: I don't, OK.
CORN: This is a big nothing. Unless you want to talk about everybody else who's wearing and not wearing a flag pin, I don't see how this makes a difference in the race.
HEMMER: I want to bring in Mark in a moment. Have these guys been asked about it yet? I don't think they have. I think it's Obama that's on record as addressing this. Mark, what do you make of this? How does it win votes? That is the name of the game.
WILLIAMS: It uh, well first of all, Obama's very different than those other names, in that Obama says he took his flag pin off after 9-11, and he felt, apparently, some sort of an affinity or some sort of a connection, because at that point he felt it OK to come out of the closet as the domestic insurgent he is.
CORN: Oh, you know --
WILLIAMS: The Democrat [sic] Party is coming out of the closet as the domestic insurgency and the domestic enemy. We've got John "Skippy" Edwards, who wants us all to march off to the doctor for mandatory physicals. Hillary Clinton, who wants us to be denied the right to work for a living unless we live a politically correct prescribed lifestyle for our universal health insurance. Obama, who says 9-11 is his cue to take off the American flag --
CORN: Mark, Mark --
WILLIAMS: And then now David Corn equating an American flag with a pervert in a toilet.
CORN: That's wrong, Mark. You have your facts wrong.
HEMMER: He's calling him a "domestic insurgent," David?
CORN: Hey, hey, Bill, Bill, let me make a suggestion here. If you want to have an intelligent debate, you should have someone who knows the facts. What Obama says is that he wore a flag pin after 9-11. That's not that 9-11 caused him to take it off. And that after --
WILLIAMS: Took it off after 9-11.
CORN: No, no. And then he took it off sometime after 9-11 --
WILLIAMS: As a - as a good ally --
HEMMER: Hang on.
CORN: Let me finish.
CORN: He took it off because he didn't like the run-up to the war, and he decided that you show your patriotism by your ideals, not by what you wear on your lapel. So you have it wrong, Mark. Mark, you owe him an apology.
HEMMER: David, you've made your point. Mark, is that the case? Is that a fact?
CORN: You owe him an apology, Mark.
HEMMER: Hang on, David. Mark, go ahead.
WILLIAMS: He took it off after 9/11. He said that he felt that the flag was becoming something -- it was becoming too noticeable, too high profile. He thought that people were wearing it in place of showing their patriotism. I mean, come on, what has Obama done to demonstrate the patriotism that he says doesn't belong on his lapel? What's he done to demonstrate that, except get out there, badmouth this country, and help demoralize the troops, and help do his part to undermine this nation?
CORN: You know, there are plenty of generals who don't support this war who have spoken out against it. I guess they're all unpatriotic in your view too. More Americans than not say the war was a mistake. Are they unpatriotic as well, Mark? You're putting yourself into a very small corner.
WILLIAMS: Are they throwing their flags into the gutter?
CORN: No one's throwing their flags into the gutter.
WILLIAMS: Maybe Obama would like a cloth flag and a match.
CORN: You know, you really should stick to some facts. I know on radio talk, rhetoric is what counts the most, but you're misstating the facts, and now you're branding everybody who's against the war as being unpatriotic? Some people would say that that's unpatriotic.
WILLIAMS: I'm talking about Obama --
HEMMER: Mark, you get the last word. Fire away.
WILLIAMS: I'm talking about Obama and the domestic enemies in the Democrat Party --
CORN: Oh, this is absurd.
WILLIAMS: -- who stand for everything this country was founded to oppose.
HEMMER: You guys are hot.
CORN: Well, I'm right and he's wrong.
HEMMER: David, thank you. Mark, thanks to you as well.
HEMMER: Something tells me that this isn't the last of this debate. See you guys.