Dem Candidate Tim Ryan Didn't Salute Flag During Anthem, Now Claims He Wasn't Protesting

Tim Ryan, a congressman from Ohio and a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, turned some heads at Tuesday’s debate when he didn’t salute the flag during the playing of the national anthem.

Now, he claims he didn’t disrespect the flag on purpose.

While “The Star-Spangled Banner” played prior to the start of the debate, Ryan was the only one out of 10 Democratic candidates who did not put his hand over his heart.

As the Washington Examiner noted, Marianne Williamson initially failed to put her hand over her heart as well, but eventually did so.

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Ryan caught some flak from plenty of conservatives.

While it wasn’t immediately clear why he didn’t salute the flag, some thought he was attempting some form of protest.

Do you think what Tim Ryan did was disrespectful to the flag?

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, of course, started the trend of protesting the national anthem by kneeling during the 2016 NFL season.

But Ryan insists he wasn’t protesting, with a spokesperson for his campaign claiming it was nothing more than “a moment of absentmindedness.”

“Congressman Ryan wasn’t protesting and didn’t mean to make any statement last night in Detroit, it was a moment of absentmindedness while on a debate stage that won’t happen again,” the spokesperson told The Hill.

“He was, in fact, singing along with the choir to honor our country,” the statement added.

“Congressman Ryan loves our country and will continue to honor the flag during the anthem in future events, as he has in countless events in the past.”

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Ryan expressed similar sentiments after the debate in an interview with ABC News, thought he wasn’t as clear on why he did not put his hand over his heart.

“I love this country as much as everybody else,” the congressman said.

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Joe Setyon is a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who has spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon is deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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