Was Barack Obama Shunning the American Flag?
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," October 4, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome back to "Hannity & Colmes."
Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama has decided to discontinue a political tradition that has been the norm, for some, since September 12, 2001, wearing an American flag pin on his lapel. The Illinois senator said, quote, "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."
We now continue with Kate Obenshain and Geraldine Ferraro. Should your patriotism, Kate, be judged by the size of your lapel pin?
KATE OBENSHAIN, YOUNG AMERICA'S FOUNDATION: It's a little weird, Alan, that in the middle of the campaign, the guy takes off the American flag that most people wear because they're proud of their country. It's a statement.
COLMES: Are you wearing a flag right now?
OBENSHAIN: And when you're running for president —
COLMES: I don't see your pin.
OBENSHAIN: Alan, when you're running for president...
COLMES: Where's your pin?
OBENSHAIN: ...it says something. And if in the middle of the campaign...
COLMES: I think you should have a pin on.
OBENSHAIN: ...you take it off...
GERALDINE FERRARO, DEMOCRATIC POLITICIAN: Cut — Kate, come on.
OBENSHAIN: It actually — Oh, come on Geraldine!
FERRARO: Kate, stop it.
OBENSHAIN: He says it — he said he is making a statement.
COLMES: Let Gerry get in here.
FERRARO: I never — I have never walked around with a lapel pin. I also don't walk with a yellow bracelet. I don't walk around with a pink ribbon. But if you want to ask me if I raise money for cancer research, yes, I do. Do I care about these things? Yes, I do. I don't need to let people know what I'm doing, and I don't think wearing an — a flag on your lapel says that you're any more patriotic than the next person.
COLMES: Kate, let me ask you a question — is the bigger the flag, the more patriotic you are? Is that how it works?
OBENSHAIN: You know what, Alan? The point is, he took it off, and he said I am making a statement here. You have to say, what does that statement mean?
COLMES: I'll tell you what it is...
OBENSHAIN: And how do I, as a voter, feel about it?
COLMES: It's substance over symbolism.
FERRARO: That's exactly right.
COLMES: Substance over symbolism. That's what the statement is.
OBENSHAIN: It matters something to our troops who are in harm's way...
COLMES: Oh, the troops are offended because he's not wearing a pin on his lapel, it hurts the troops?
OBENSHAIN: It certainly does.
FERRARO: Get real.
COLMES: That hurts the troops?
FERRARO: That's ridiculous.
OBENSHAIN: That is not ridiculous, Geraldine.
COLMES: They're in pain because Barack Obama took a pin off his chest?
OBENSHAIN: If — he is making a statement by it. And you can look at the other things he said, and you can look at — it falls in line with some of the other bizarre things that he said on foreign policy.
COLMES: It's not about how loud you say the pledge of alliance...
OBENSHAIN: Alan, if you'd let me finish — if you guys would just let me finish a thought, that would be great.
COLMES: Or how big your pin is. That's not what patriotism is. It's phony patriotism.
OBENSHAIN: Actually, I never said anything about how big your pin is. What I'm saying is that people already have some serious questions about Barack Obama on foreign policy.
COLMES: Who? Who does?
OBENSHAIN: A lot of Americans.
FERRARO: Certainly not about his patriotism, Kate.
OBENSHAIN: Can I just speak for a minute?
FERRARO: Yeah, you've been speaking for quite a while. It's not about patriotism. No one questions his patriotism.
OBENSHAIN: Thank you. You're being a little rude tonight.
FERRARO: Well, it's because you don't stop talking, for goodness's sakes.
OBENSHAIN: Go right ahead.
FERRARO: Do let me have a word in edge-wise here too.
FERRARO: You're saying that it's the — he's being criticized for his foreign policy experience. That is one thing. But he is not being criticized for his patriotism. And that's quite another.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Well, the only one that's questioning anyone's patriotism this week was Harry Reid who called Rush Limbaugh unpatriotic, which I thought was out of bounds, but let me educate everybody, because the point is being missed on our liberal friends here. What Barack Obama did and what he said here was asked why he took the pin off, and he said he's doing it as a political statement about the war.
Now, here's the question. If he's making a statement, can't we just stop politicizing the war? You know, your party has called our Marines murderers, like John Murtha...
COLMES: That's ridiculous.
FERRARO: Come on.
OBENSHAIN: It was ridiculous.
HANNITY: Barack Obama said we are air raiding villages and killing civilians. John Kerry called our troops terrorists.
FERRARO: Come on. Come on.
HANNITY: And you guys have sat there silently and allowed this to happen.
FERRARO: I'm sorry Sean. You have to stop that — You really have to stop that.
HANNITY: No, they have to stop saying it!
FERRARO: You know — our Americans. No. Our — they're Democrats. We're Americans. Forget all this garbage. We're outraged...
HANNITY: Why does Dick Durbin compare our troops to Nazis?
FERRARO: We're outraged about how the war has gone. We're outraged that almost 4,000 young people have died...
HANNITY: Why do you compare our troops to Nazis? Why do you say our troops air raid villages?
FERRARO: Wait. Let me just finish what I'm saying. We have come across so many instances in which American troops have been accused of committing crimes, have pleaded guilty to being — committing crimes, have been tried by military tribunals...
HANNITY: Excuse me.
FERRARO: Excuse me, yes, and they're serving time in jail.
HANNITY: Let me quote John Murtha. He said they killed innocent civilians in cold blood, and those troops have been exonerated. Where's the apology?
FERRARO: Well you have not seen, there is never any sort of an instance in which you will agree that sometimes our American — and not — 99.44 percent, like Ivory soap, they're pure. They are the best. But let me just go...
HANNITY: Let me go to Kate.
FERRARO: There are some that have been impossible.
HANNITY: Let me ask you. Kate, this is the point. Barack Obama accused our troops of killing civilians, air raiding villages, when there's no evidence.
HANNITY: We've had a series of incidents. They've been compared to Nazis by leaders of the Democrats. Harry Reid said the troops have lost the war and the surge has failed. And what's bothersome to me here is the American flag on your lapel ought not be politicized.
OBENSHAIN: It ought not to be. And regardless of how you feel politically about the war, we are at war. Our men and women are in harm's way. Somebody [who] wants to be commander-in-chief should have pride in our country enough to wear the lapel, continue to wear the lapel pin on their jacket during this campaign.
COLMES: All these Democrats are being taken out of context. We're going to get into that issue...
HANNITY: Not one of them.
COLMES: ... we have to have enough troops so that we don't air raid villages. That's exactly what he said.
HANNITY: That's not true. I played it last night. I played it last night.
COLMES: And, Kate, next time you're on the show, I want a big pin, OK? A really big pin.
OBENSHAIN: Alan, I'm not running for president.
Watch "Hannity & Colmes" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!
Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2007 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.