June 30th, 2008
08:01 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama to deliver 'major speech' on patriotism

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/30/art.obamaflag.gi.jpg caption="Obama has been looking to emphasize his patriotism."] CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama plans to deliver what his campaign is calling a "major speech" Monday, centering around an issue he's been trying to highlight for months now: his patriotism.

The remarks come in Harry Truman's hometown of Independence, Missouri, just days before the Fourth of July.

"Sen. Obama will discuss what patriotism means to him and what it requires of all Americans who love this country and want to see it do better," Obama spokesman Bill Burton wrote in a morning email to reporters.

The Illinois senator has been defending his patriotism ever since the days of Iowa when he was first criticized for not wearing a flag pin - which he now does much more frequently - and when false rumors began circulating that he did not say the Pledge of Allegiance.

He was also seen without his hand over his heart during a rendition of the National Anthem.

Obama's wife, Michelle, has been on the receiving end of attacks over her patriotism, after telling an audience at a campaign event, "For the first time in my adult lifetime I'm really proud of my country."

Senator Obama will follow up Monday's speech on patriotism with a Tuesday address focused on faith, and remarks on service Wednesday and Thursday. He will spend Friday, July 4 in Butte, Montana - with the whole Obama family out on the trail.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. gary


    June 30, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Rational thoughts

    Why would he need to make a "major speech" on patriotism? I've yet to hear McCain scheduling one of these. Something to hide Senator Obama? Something to explain?

    That being said, I wish the canidates (both of them) would start offering real plans to solve problems that Americans experience. I don't want empty messages/rhetoric of "Hope and Change" or "I was a POW". I want real ideas, real plans; a real reason to actually vote outside of party affiliation.

    June 30, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. JfromNC

    I think it's extremely sad that he has to do this at all. If he were white and had a "regular" name, his patriotism would not be a question. My heart breaks thinking about the hate this man has endured. Even if you don't agree with his policies and don't intend to vote for him, no one deserves the treatment he has received. I think he would make a wonderful president, but my growing sense is that we may not be deserving of his sacrifice. No matter what the outcome of this election, I pray that he and his family will be safe.

    June 30, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Cathy in MD

    All the fallout over Obama’s absentee flag pin, in my opinion, trivialized the meaning of patriotism. It reminds me of our right to freedom of religion – and our right to choose how we practice that religion. No one has the authority to question another person’s faith based on a perceived lack of commitment to some prescribed, culturally acceptable method of practicing that faith. There are some who believe that the depth of one’s faith can be measured by the frequency with which one goes to church, yet there are many people of deep faith who do not gravitate toward conventional organized religion. The same rationale can be applied to patriotism. We can get so hung up on appearances … all the superficial outward signs that somehow affirm for us that a person is who he claims to be. For some people, donning a flag pin is a way to express their patriotism. For others, it is not. This doesn’t make one person more patriotic than the other. Obama should wear a flag pin if he wants to, and it doesn’t bother me one bit that he wears it now when he didn’t before. Maybe, like all thinking human beings should, he’s taken the time to reflect on his own feelings about patriotism and has discovered that wearing a flag pin just feels right. Come on people. Greenland is melting and we’re worried about things that don’t matter.

    June 30, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Frank

    Is this guy for real??? Does he really think that the American people judge him based on his prewritten speeches? All he is doing is reading a script.....just like 'acting'....why don't you join John McCain on the Town Hall circuit and then we will judge the real Barak Hussain Obama. These Democrats are just plain ridiculous.

    June 30, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. JC from NJ

    It still amazes me that there are some people who still live in caves in this most modern of countries. 'Common sense ain't so common'
    If Obama was a Muslim terrorist then why does the senate allow him to go inside and vote on American issues and even worse stand by him as he runs for president?!?
    The people that say he is unpatriotic because he does't always wear a Flagpin, a Flagpin!!!! Not worth a comment.
    He refuses to recite the pledge of allegiance??? How did he become a senator???
    Listen people, he and his wife are self made millionares who can retire tomorrow if they choose. He is running for office because he loves this country and I respect and appereciate him for what he is doing.
    Go President Obama!

    June 30, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Kip, Seattle Washington

    Obama 08'! 🙂

    June 30, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  8. Rave

    Would love to hear the speech... Mr. Obama is perfect.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    June 30, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Oh geez, give a speech to explain your patriotism? How utterly absurd that a man, running for President, has to explain how he is patriotic!

    I think there are many other things that he needs to speak about, e.g, high oil prices, the economy!!!, health insurance.


    June 30, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Michael Mee

    This election has revealed an entire generation of voters who are apparently unaware that, sometimes – during elections – politicians make speeches.


    and other racist terminology. holla.

    June 30, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. Nowhere Man

    A presidential candidate who has to give a "major" speech on WHY he's patriotic? Huh? LOLF!

    June 30, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Jewel - NC

    I will be watching and listening.
    Great decision, because we need it daily.
    Go Obama Go.

    June 30, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Vote Nader

    Can we just stop with the "major speech"es? It's not like they are ever about anything important to the election process. Who cares what things "mean to him"? I want to know what you will do for America. I am patriotic, but that doesn't make me qualified for the office of President.

    This stuff wouldn't be an issue if you didn't continually bring it up. Discuss the issues, what you propose – not that your opponent(s) plans are "gimmicks".

    Patriotism is a given when it comes to public service. Only a small amount of ignorants may question it. He's simply "defending" himself to strengthen his support. And I was told playing the victim was a cheap thing to do by his supporters during the primary.


    ** Nader/Gonzalez 2008 **

    June 30, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. Sn in MN

    Where there's smoke, there's fire. His dad was a foreigner, his mother married two Muslim foreigners and lived outside the U.S. most of her adult life. He joins a hate-whitey cult and attends for 20 years. He and his wife write about their alienation from America and the majority population in books and college papers. Gee, I think there may be something to it...

    June 30, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Nick - Arlington, VA

    They hate him for not wearing a flag pin and then hate him for wearing one....its sad that there are so many ignorant people out there that a man running for President, who could only be doing so because of how much this country has given him, needs to defend his love for it.

    June 30, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. LaShanda

    How said is it that the black candidate has to constantly defend his patriotism AND release his birth certificate?? This is INSANE! I'm really sad that he has to go through all of this.

    June 30, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. Dan, MA

    I don't think any logical person questions Obama's patriotism. Obviously he's not running for President so he can purposefully destroy it from the inside out. Even McCain doesn't want to do that. I know it's a hard thing for some folks to understand, but doctoring photos is one of the easiest things to do these days. And if not wearing a flag pin makes you "unpatriotic," then about 97% of the US's population has a lot of explaining to do to the 3% that do wear pins.

    "Patriotism" is a word that is, sadly, thrown around as often as "commie" was during the McCarthy era. Those who use the word lightly or as an attack against someone they don't understand are doing nothing more than slowly chipping away from the majesty of true patriots.

    June 30, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. Dmorphine



    June 30, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. Phantom of the Oprah

    Another Speech?

    What a surprise. More words to spin and lie.

    Does not change the fact that you were selected, NOT elected.
    That you lied about HRC to damage her campaign.
    That you trashed Bill Clinton's presidency- one of the best ever.
    That you mocked, jeered and ridiculed HRC to demean her.
    That you attract filthy, vulgar, hateful supporters.
    That you overplayed the race card to gain an edge.
    That you wrongly proclaimed yourself a uniter for change.
    That you used race as a shield and as a sword to divide the DEMS.
    That the Celebrity bandwagon bought you votes.
    That the DNC swiftboated HRC (the better candidate) to install you.
    That the Media gutted Hillary while elevating you to star status.


    June 30, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. JanetB

    Obama gives great speeches. The problem is what he says when he doesn't have a teleprompter and speechwriters. It is amazing that this patriotism thing is still an issue that doesn't go away. Maybe he should give a speech on his patriotism towards Europe since it seems to be so relevant that Obama is a rock star in Europe. Oops, maybe he doesn't need to do that, just patriotism towards America.

    June 30, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Christopher

    All of the people that are so critical of ANYONE not wearing a flag pin, ask yourself when was the last time YOU wore one????

    What cracks me up is John McCain claiming to be patriotic because he was a POW...Since when did getting captured by the enemy justify becomming president of the US? I served proudly for 6 years in the US Army...But I dont wear a flag pin, nor have I been a POW... I am just someone that was born in the US, lives in the US and proud to be an American. I go to church but I dont wear a bible on my lapel!

    June 30, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. katiec

    It is a shame that someone who has dedicated his life for the
    betterment of our country has to defend his patriotism.

    Am so very tired of the hate blogs, unjustified statements and
    out and out lies. What is important is the future of our country.

    Is it patrotrism to try to change to Constitution to whatever
    whim the present president has? Is it patriotism to create
    the largest deficit in our country's history? Is it patrioism to
    attack other countries unjustifyably? Is it patriotism to
    owe our souls to questionable countries to support
    this unjustified war? Is it patrioism to destroy our
    economic, education, medical system? Is it patriotism
    to wildly spend taxpayers money with no accountability
    for such spending? Is it patrioism to put into effect
    unfunded, irresponsible spending?

    Someone explain to me how they can support what has
    been happening to our country these last almost
    eight years.

    June 30, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. Shelly in IL


    June 30, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. FLORIDA Voter for Obama

    Hey Mike in Syracuse –

    He can't walk the walk until he's actually in office you idiot. What can he do until then? I mean really??

    Why don't you learn to trust your gut? Not everyone is a liar like your best friend Bush.

    June 30, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. boered1

    he better wear a flag pin or the crying clintonistas and the mccainites will say it does not matter what he says he did not have the flag pin on so he must not believe in America.. of course they will still say that his wife is unamerican because she dared comment that not everything America has done over the course of her life is something she can be proud of and for the first time she is seeing the America she can be proud of. But hey distortions and lies have a way of staying around much longer than truth since truth is not nearly so damming as a good lie or distortion!

    June 30, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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