Kaine took the podium at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to formally accept the nomination for vice president on the Democratic ticket. During his speech, the NCGOP tweeted about his lapel pin. They called him shameful for wearing what they thought was a Honduras flag pin, when in fact it was a Blue Star Service Pin. He was wearing it because his son is in the Marine Corp.
In a message on Twitter, the NC GOP wrote: "@timkaine wears a Honduras flag pin on his jacket but no American flag. Shameful."
But as Ben Amey, a reporter for WNYT in Albany, New York pointed out, it wasn't the flag of Honduras, but rather the symbol recognized by the Department of Defense for Blue Star Families - the families of those who serve in the military.
Kaine's son, Nat, is serving in the U.S. Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines in eastern Europe.
After Amey pointed out the gaffe, the NC GOP apologized.
@BenAmeyTV We appreciate you letting us know. Thanks for letting us correct our mistake.— NCGOP (@NCGOP) July 28, 2016
"Last night, the North Carolina Republican Party disgraced themselves and once again embarrassed North Carolina - the most military-friendly state in the nation," said North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman Dave Miranda.
"The Blue Star pin is a pin of solidarity and sacrifice when families are divided by military deployment," said former state senator and Afghanistan veteran Cal Cunningham. "This shows that the North Carolina Republican Party is more interested in throwing mud and racking up political points than getting its facts right."
The NCGOP quickly deleted the tweet and has issued an apology on Twitter and on Facebook. Dallas Woodhouse, Executive Director of the North Carolina Republican Party released this statement:
"As the Executive Director of the North Carolina Republican Party, we offer our sincere and unqualified apology for the mistake made on Twitter last night regarding Gov. Kaine's lapel pin. The tweet was wrong on the facts, wrong in tone and should not have happened.
We would like to offer a sincere apology to Senator Tim Kaine, his family, and his Marine son who is honorably serving overseas.
The members of the staff that were invoked are facing severe internal sanctions and mandatory retraining.
When we learned of our mistake, we immediately took steps to rectify it. There are now procedural measures in place to make sure it does not happen again.
While I did not see or authorize the tweet, as the Director of our organization I take full responsibility for our carelessness.
Again, we are incredibly thankful for the service of Sen. Kaine's son, and all United States military, past and present, who fight for our freedom.
We demand accountability from our elected officials and our government. Those standards apply do and should apply to us as well."
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