None of the 10 candidates on stage pulled a Colin Kaepernick as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played on CNN, but Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) was the only candidate who did not put his hand to his heart. (Marianne Williamson’s hand went to her heart after the first few seconds of the song.)
Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary for President George W. Bush, was quick to jump on Ryan, suggesting he was “appealing to the Kaepernick wing of the Democratic Party.”
The View’s Meghan McCain, meanwhile, implored Ryan to rectify the situation by putting his hand over his heart mid-song, something he may have considered and decided would be more awkward than just standing there with his hands clasped in front of him.
And then there was Bill O’Reilly, who attacked Ryan for not putting his hand to his heart… while simultaneously mistaking him for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is participating in Wednesday night’s debate.
Joe Adalian, the West Coast editor for New York magazine’s Vulture, wondered aloud whether Ryan’s move was an elaborate scheme to “get talked about on Fox News” or a “subtle play for the super far left vote.”
It seems likely that Ryan will find himself a target of Fox News’ many opinion shows Wednesday, but those hosts should be aware that there is another, more famous political figure who has repeatedly failed to make that patriotic gesture.
During the White House Easter Egg Roll earlier this year, first lady Melania Trump had to remind President Trump to put his hand over his heart during the anthem. And during her trip to the U.K. in June, Ivanka Trump similarly left her hands by her sides when “The Star-Spangled Banner” played.