Candidates Have Their Say on Obama's Decision Not to Wear Flag Pin
Barack Obama may choose not to wear an American flag pin on his lapel, but many of the presidential contender's political rivals say they wouldn't leave home without one.
VIDEO: Barack Obama Decides Not to Continue Wearing a Flag Pin on His Lapel
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton told FOXNews.com Thursday night that she sometimes wears a pin to show her patriotism. “Wearing a flag pin, flying the flag, pledging allegiance to the flag, talking about the values that are important to America, teaching your children about what a great nation you have, standing up for those values, speaking out … there’s just so many ways that one can demonstrate patriotism,” Clinton said at a Chicago fundraiser.
A spokesman for Joe Biden told FOXNews.com that the Delaware senator usually wears a flag pin. It wasn't clear whether Dennis Kucinich wears a pin, but a spokeswoman told FOXNews.com that the Ohio congressman does "does carry a mini copy of the Constitution in his pocket."
John Edwards, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson didn't return calls for comment.
Republican hopeful John McCain said he doesn’t wear a flag pin on a daily basis. Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for the Arizona senator, said “his record of service to his country shows his dedication.”
Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo said he wears a flag pin to show he’s proud to be an American and dismissed Obama’s decision. A representative for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said he always sported the pin when he was governor.
A spokesman for Sam Brownback said he wasn't sure how often the Kansas senator wears a flag pin. "It might be on some of his jackets — just there," ready for the wearing, said John Rankin. He said he didn't know if the Brownback had a set policy on wearing Old Glory as an accessory.
Brownback apparently doesn't wear one all the time. On the cover of his 2007 book, "From Power to Purpose," displayed on his campaign Web site, his lapel does not show a flag.
California Rep. Duncan Hunter "is proud to wear an American flag pin as much as possible and on any occasion," said spokesman Gary Becks.
Other Republican contenders Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul didn't respond to calls.
Wearing an American flag lapel pin is seen as a tradition on the campaign trail. Obama said Thursday that he stopped wearing one shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, telling reporters at a campaign stop in Iowa that “I probably haven’t worn a flag pin in a very long time. After a while, I noticed people wearing a lapel pin and not acting very patriotic....
"My attitude is that I'm less concerned about what you're wearing on your lapel than what's in your heart," Obama said. "You show your patriotism by how you treat your fellow Americans, especially those who serve. You show your patriotism by being true to our values and ideals. That's what we have to lead with, is our values and our ideals."
Clinton wouldn’t comment on Obama’s decision not to wear the pin.
“You’ll have to ask him,” she said.
Hunter wouldn't comment on Obama's decision and said he will let the senator speak for himself, his spokesman said in an e-mail. "Though there are several different ways to demonstrate your patriotism and love for our country, the flag has always represented the very best of America and it continues to serve as a great tribute to, and reminder of, the men and women who are fighting for our nation."
FOX News' Greg Simmons, Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.