October 9th, 2007
05:28 PM ET
11 years ago

Most GOP candidates shed their pins

DEARBORN, Michigan (CNN) - Only two of the nine presidential candidates at today's Republican presidential debate wore flags on their lapels.

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani both wore flag pins on their lapels while the remaining seven did not. They were: Sen. John McCain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. Sam Brownback, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Rep. Ron Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Hucakbee, and Rep. Tom Tancredo.

Flag lapel pins became a campaign issue for Democratic candidate Barack Obama last week when he acknowledged to an interviewer that while he wore the lapel pins after 9/11, he no longer believes it’s appropriate. Obama told reporters that he has stopped wearing a flag lapel pin because he believes it has been a “substitute for true patriotism.”

- CNN Political Director Sam Feist

Filed under: Michigan • Presidential Candidates
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Q. Christian Atlanta GA

    Quite honestly I believe that anyone seeking the HIGHEST office in the land should be wearing a pin of the flag of the very country they are trying so badly to lead. These people who are campaigning are not ordinary citizens. They are campaigning to seek the most powerful position in America and in the WORLD.

    I don't think it's too much to ask that these people at least show a little respect and wear the flag pin–PERIOD. I believe if you don't want to wear the pin you shouldn't stand in front of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court with an American flag behind you being inaugurated.

    If you want to be President you SHOULD BE PROUD to show you the people you want to represent and the people of the world that it is NOTHING WRONG with wearing the flag of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.

    October 9, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Jeff, Minneapolis

    I wonder if the Fox Noise commentators will trip over themselves condemning the seven GOP candidates now.

    October 9, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    THANK YOU CNN for reporting all the IMPORTANT news!!

    What was Mrs Thompson wearing?? Heels or flats??

    October 9, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Common Sense


    Dont worry Barack, we will make this happen!


    October 9, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. U2, jasper, tx

    Duncan Hunter and John McCain must be some unpatriotic duo – not wearing their lapels!!!

    October 9, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. Robert New York City & Miami, Florida

    That flag pin is Giuliani's blood line. Mr. 9/11.


    October 9, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Connie, Louisville, Tn.

    Just goes to show, the Republicians are paying attention to Obama. They are afraid he will be the nominee although they are pushing for Hillary to get all their voters to come out!

    October 9, 2007 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. TwilightZone

    It's so sad that these hustlers will appeal to patriotism to get into office and then sell the lives of their countrymen for oil and big business. They should be wearing the Jolly Roger not the American flag.

    October 9, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    I find this fascinating! Maybe there is more bipartisan spirit out there than I could hope for. Could you call them "pin pals?"

    October 9, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. Rodney Dallas TX

    So Republicans, you attacked Obama for doing it last week. Let's here your "unpatriotic" rants this week now that the republicans are doing it!

    October 9, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Leo, Boston MA

    Why am I not surprised. Politics in this country has descended to such an abyssmal level of cowardice in the past 15 years. God forbid anyone do or say anything even remotely controversial anymore. Where's the leadership? Obama's an idiot. And now my fellow Republicans are boarding the stupidity train. Good grief!!

    October 9, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. laurinda,ny

    It's like monkey see – monkey do

    October 9, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. MC for Obama

    Well, I guess all of the people who pledged not to vote for Obama because of the lack of a flag pin will have a few more people not to vote for. What a shame that people base their choice on a flag pin instead of the issues.

    October 9, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    F. Thomson has no posted web site; I went to two or three sites. F.T. is a cowardly dead-end, a TV soap-opera. I fail to understand how this performance relates to leadership.

    October 9, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. Roberto Tampa, FL

    Barack Obama has won the flag pin argument. Republicans won't be able to beat him in 08.

    October 9, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. Christian, Tampa FL

    This is a non-issue and it shouldn't have been made into such a big deal with Obama or any other candidate. Does the media think that the American electorate cares about a pin? We don't seem to be too happy with its current wearer-in-chief...

    October 9, 2007 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  17. Leila, Long Beach, CA

    This is great. Finally, someone stood up to them and called them on their hypocricy.

    Obama is the American voice.

    October 9, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    When Obama stated he wasn't going to wear a flag pin anymore, he drew a lot of fire, especially here on CNN blogs like this. However, he got lots of support as well. Obama was showing off his true authenticity.

    The paranoid Republicans, seeing Obama's rise in votes as a result of this, decide to follow suit. Now let me make this clear: I believe some Republican bloggers said not wearing a pin is unamerican, and symbolic of radical Islam.

    Well, now that the Repubs are doing it, who are you gonna worship now? Obama was original; these guys are just pathetic suck-ups. If anyone is unamerican here, it's the Republicans.

    October 9, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. ProudVet living in Europe-Portugal

    I proudly wore my army uniform during the viet nam war, I won´t wear a flag pin as long as W has one on, don´t want to be in his league.

    October 10, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. John Carter - Nashville, TN

    So Lou Dobbs is proud of wearing his flag lapel pin and disappointed in pundits and commentators who don't. Cry me a river Lou! Not all of us are proud of this country right now. In fact, I've been pretty disgusted with alot of what we've done lately as a country. Frankly, the Republican Party has been waiving it's flag draped patriotism non-stop since 9/11, God Bless Us and all that crap. I'm sick of it. We are a great country that has suffered from horrendous leadership for the last several years. One day we'll get this ship turned around and headed in the right direction. Until then, my flag will be in the closet only to appear on the 4th of July and Memorial Day, if at all. If that doesn't please the blowhards like Lou Dobbs, so be it.

    John Carter

    October 10, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Karen, Rockville, MD

    Why is this even being written about or discussed?

    We have far more important issues in this country than whether or not someone wears a flag pin on their lapel.

    Whatever happened to common sense?

    October 10, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Dan D Milwaukee, WI

    You know what is nuts? Is that we are focusing on pins. Obama doesnt want to wear a pin? Fine, dont wear a pin. Pretty soon some candidate is not going to want to wear a red tie, or even shoes. Let the media jump on that next. You all need to get a grip and start harping on some real issues.

    October 10, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Debi, Philadelphia, Pa

    And if Barack decides that only brown shoes should be worn because they symbolize something or other will the other candidates follow suit? This flag pin thing is ridiculous, we have serious situations going on all over the world and they are playing silly little games in their quest to be the Leader of the Free World.

    October 10, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  24. Bill, Bloomington IL

    To Common Sense: get some. If you didnt notice, the top two republicans did wear flag pins. If your hero is afraid of Ron Paul, your hero is in trouble with Hillary.

    October 12, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |