(CNN) - It was an issue that caused a stir last fall, and one that former Bush strategist Karl Rove predicts may plague Barack Obama in the general election.
In a newly-published interview with GQ magazine, Rove says Obama's reluctance to wear a flag pin on his lapel may translate as elitism to many blue collar democrats.
"There are Democrats, particularly blue-collar Democrats, who defect to McCain because they see McCain as a patriotic figure and they see Obama as an elitist who's looking down his nose at 'em, which he is," Rove told the magazine.
"That comment where he said, you know, 'After 9/11, I didn't wear a flag lapel pin because true patriotism consists of speaking out on the issues, not wearing a flag lapel pin?’ Well, to a lot of ordinary people, putting that flag lapel pin on is true patriotism. It's a statement of their patriotic love of the country. And for him to sit there and dismiss it as he did…" Rove added.
The Obama campaign declined to comment on Rove's remarks.
In early October, an Iowa reporter asked Obama why he was not wearing a flag pin on his lapel, as many politicians do. The Illinois senator said he wore one shortly after 9/11, but later decided to show his patriotism in other ways.
"After a while, you start noticing people wearing the lapel pin but not acting very patriotic,” he said then. “My attitude is that I'm less concerned with what you're wearing on your lapel than what's in your heart. You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those ones who serve."
His Democratic rivals at the time dismissed it as a non-issue, but the comments were posted on several conservative blogs, and sparked several anonymous e-mails that questioned Obama's patriotism.
In the new interview with GQ, Rove suggested the comments were among those that showed Obama is "coolly detached and very arrogant."
"I think he's very smart and knows he's smart, but as a result doesn't do his homework," Rove also said.
In the wide ranging interview, Rove also praised Clinton's now-famous 3 a.m. as "gutsy."
"It was a gutsy, dangerous move - She figured out that she had to do something to raise the issue of: Is he fit to be president? And this was a way to do it," he said. "I happened to be in Texas a week before the ad popped, and all of her surrogates were hitting him pretty hard on the thinness of his experience. They were pretty brutal. And this ad sort of fed into that."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
karl rove get a life!
A pin is not a substantive issue. Karl Rove is flailing wildly.
If Obama can be accused of distorting what Mc Cain has said regarding his"100 years" than one can certainly say that Obama's stance regarding the flagpin is being distorted. Pretty simple and clear what the guy means. Personally, I see it as more patriotic to speak out against a war that should never have been waged, while not wearing a flagpin...than it is to be a politician who struts with a flagpin, while at the same time sending ill equipped 18 year old American soldiers to fight a war that is "un American" . That is if patriotism can be defined as a love of one's country.
American at heart.
The race card will be played in response to every honest criticism made.
If Obama is president, the entire USA will be labeled racist. Only the loudest thugs will have freedom of speech.
All the little people, and the frightened media will keep their silence.
The Majority has got to unite against this man
Oh yea and dont forget that to avoid be drafted to be a patriot for the US during the vietnam war he got a deferment and went to school and thats because he found out his draft number was highly likely to be drafted. Coward........ patriots are our men and women dying and spilling blood to keep our flag red. Rove is a coward and should never question someone patriotism a pin wont do it for me. Thats like someone eating a can of spinach and saying they Popeye.
What do you expect from a pig but a grunt. Rove is the biggest sow of them all!
Who Cares !!!
I am not going to vote for Obama in '08 bc I dont like him but it has nothing to do with a stupid flag pin. I would vote for McCain over Obama bc he has more experience not bc of a stupid flag pin.
Women for Clinton '08 !!!
PA's got your back Hill !!!
If Carl Rove and Ann Coulter had a baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
that kid would be even more evil than the Prince of Darkness himself Dick Cheney.
Obama is right on this one. If you think you can sum your pariotism up with a stupid flag pin then you have no idea what real patriotism is. This has got to be one of the silliest things I've ever heard.
If their grand scheme was to Swift-boat Obama on a pin then they are more desperate than I thought.
Do they think Americans are really this stupid?
You know, I got some advice for Rove....
Hey, listen Rove, you could do whatever the heck you want, is your decision. But listen to yourself, let alone some people don't wanna see the Reps around this election, so all I'm saying is when you talk, you better make sure it don't come and bite you back. Plus, it does seem like you have a problem against my boy and that's fine, I mean, who doesn't??? All I'm saying Rove is if you guys wanna have a chance to win, then maybe you should do something instead of saying something...
By the way, don't say that I didn't warn you......
This is so idiotic. When are we as a country going to focus on core issues that really affect our lives? When are Republicans like Karl Rove going to stop playing games about who is more patriotic than the other? We are all Americans, yet this man and his minions still cannot discuss any subtantial issues. Rove is such a national disgrace I can't even believe he is showing his face, let alone dictating what could be used in an upcoming election against a decent and honest individual. Barack Obama is just as patriotic as anyone else. Some of the most famous chickenhawks who never served our country put a lapel on, along with men and women who have served with dignity. Some of the same people don't wear a pin...and they love their country. Its your decision to wear what you want–case closed. Too many Republicans and some Democrats care more about fluffy non-issues like this...which is why I hope there will be a larger third-party movement in the future because this country needs to stay focused on REAL issues...for once.
Democrats for Mc Cain '08
Where's Rove's pin? Did it get hooked on his panties when he tried to pull his head out of his......
I KNOW ALL YOU WHO ARE PART OF THE FOLLOWING OF SAINT OBAMA WILL SAY THIS IS STUPID TO BRING UP.
WHAT WOULD YOU BLOG IF THIS WAS CLINTON WHO WORE NO FLAG PIN???
GROW UP ALL OF YOU OBAMAITES, YOUR LEADER SCREWED UP.
THIS JUST THE BEGINNING OF HOW MCCAIN WITH SHRED OBAMA.
Karl Rowe, has fail to realize that president Bush will not be able to protect him in the future. There is a jail cell with his name on it. He needs to put a flag pin on his mouth.
What an idiot. And where is your pin, egghead?
Wearing flag pin is a nod to Bush's concept of patriotism ... if you want to wear one fine, but for this lying sack to say good old boys are patriots for wearing them is well worth its weight in salt
Just like every other parasite on earth, they first get fat off of their host before finally killing the host and in eventually themeselves.
Don't you just love the republicans? 4,000 plus dead in Iraq and yet they find more useless wedge issues to try to fool the Americans who are not paying attention. Oh gosh, you mean Rove you are through with God, gays and guns. Hopefully people will see that they are being used and vote the ticket which will help the economy for the rest of us.
Why is this flawed man even news? +
If McCain is relying on Rove- then sorry old man- you are losing...
If ppl hate Bush- they hate Rove more.
If we close our eyes and hold our breath, this story will be gone by morning. It is just taking up space.
Since no attack or criticism sticks to teflon Obama, Carl is probably trying to damage Clinton and knock her out of the race to pave the way for a McCain win.
I am a Vietnam veteran and retired career Army officer. I no longer wear the flag pin.
For a time after 9/11 I did wear it, but no more. IMHO it's been co-opted by war wimps, and, disgracefully, has come to symbolize the "love of country" of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots. I prefer to wear the lapel pin of my senior Army decoration, or the Army Star.
I am with Sen. Obama. Mr. Rove, who never served America in the military, can wear the flag pin all he wants. It's a free country.
Why isn't Rove in jail?
Another lunatic for Clinton. That figures. Why isn't this creature extinct. You have lied so much to the country, why should anyone believe anything from you. My instincts tell me that if Rover agrees with something run the other way.