Ryan denies protesting national anthem at Democratic debate

Ryan denies protesting national anthem at Democratic debate
© CNN

Presidential candidate Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: House panel approves impeachment powers Tim Ryan debuts 'album' on Spotify to pitch 2020 platform 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the September Democratic debate MORE (D-Ohio) on Wednesday denied that he deliberately kept his hand off his heart during the national anthem at Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate.

“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,” a Ryan campaign spokesperson said in a statement.

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

He was the only contender on stage to not place his hand over his heart during the anthem.

Ryan also denied he was making a statement speaking after the event last night, telling ABC News, "I love this country as much as everybody else.”

 

The Ohio congressman faced some criticism from conservatives on social media Tuesday evening.

“The View” co-host Meghan McCainMeghan Marguerite McCainMeghan McCain swipes at Sanders: 'Don't you dare lecture Biden about cancer' 'The View' panel slams lawmakers who skipped 9/11 moment of silence: 'Shameful' Meghan McCain defends Chrissy Teigen: 'Since when is there something wrong with being a filthy mouthed wife?' MORE noted the moment and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer accused Ryan of “appealing to the Kaepernick wing of the Democratic Party.”