(CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama defended himself and his wife Sunday against suggestions that they are insufficiently patriotic.
Asked during a town hall meeting in Lorain, Ohio, about "an attempt by conservatives and Republicans to paint you as unpatriotic," a questioner cited the fact that Obama once failed to put his hand over his heart while singing the national anthem.
The questioner also noted that the Illinois senator does not wear an American flag lapel pin, has met with former members of the radical anti-Vietnam War group, Weather Underground, and his wife was quoted recently as saying she never felt really proud of the United States until recently
He doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin?? Have we really stooped to this level?? I am one hell of a patriot; I support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I have educated myself through reading about the founding of our country, I vote in every election, I attend every caucus, I volunteer, I pay my taxes, I follow laws, I eat potato salad on July 4th, I buy bonds, I know my neighbors, and I sing the anthem with gusto. But I don't recite the pledge because I find it fascist, and I sure don't put my hand over my heart. I don't wear insipid little lapel pins, nor do I put asinine ribbon magnets on my car. My God, we are as shallow as the world thinks we are.