Sneak Peek: Let the Chest Thumping Begin

Let the chest thumping begin.

Barack Obama wore an American flag lapel pin right after 9/11. But as the drumbeat to go to war in Iraq began, he stopped wearing one, believing that the lapel pin had become a "substitute" for "true patriotism."

"You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin," Obama said Wednesday. "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest."

Obama made his comments after an eagle-eyed reporter for ABC's affiliate in Cedar Rapids noticed something missing from Obama's lapels.

Watch the video: LINK

For those of you who have struggled mightily without much success to get added to Fred Thompson's press list, the former Law & Order actor is planning to hold his first D.C. press availability as a presidential candidate on Friday at the Mayflower Hotel.

The Thompson presser, which gets underway at 11:50 am ET, takes place after he delivers 11:30 am ET remarks to "Americans for Prosperity" at its "Defending the American Dream Summit" in the same hotel.

Thompson is one of six Republican '08ers speaking Friday to "Americans for Prosperity," a group which advocates lower spending. (A seventh GOP hopeful -- John McCain -- speaks to the group Thursday evening).

Friday's "Americans for Prosperity" Speaking Schedule:

9:10 am ET: Rudy Giuliani

9:45 am ET: Ron Paul

9:55 am ET: Sam Brownback

10:10 am ET: Mike Huckabee

11:30 am ET: Fred Thompson

7:35 am ET: Mitt Romney

Friday's American Dream summit comes as Giuliani and Romney are stepping up their competition with one another on taxes and spending. LINK

Fighting is also emerging between Giuliani and Romney on the issue of health care with Romney spokesman Kevin Madden accusing Giuliani of hiding behind Sally Pipes, a Giuliani health-policy adviser who took to the pages of The Wall Street Journal last week to tie Romney to "HillaryCare." LINK

On the fundraising front, Giuliani raised more money than any other Republican '08er this quarter. But the $11 million he was able to put into his coffers in the third quarter lagged behind Romney because the former Massachusetts governor was able to loan himself $8 million on top of the $10 million he raised.

Here is how the Republican '08ers break down money-wise:

Mitt Romney

Q1 - $23.4 // Q2 - $20.9 // Q3 - $18

Rudi Giuliani

Q1 - $16.6 // Q2 - $17.6 // Q3 - $11

Fred Thompson

Q1 - N/A // Q2 - N/A // Q3 - $9.3

John McCain

Q1 - $13 // Q2 - $11.5 // Q3 - $6

Ron Paul

Q1 - $0.6 // Q2 - $2.4 // Q3 - $5

Mike Huckabee

Q1 - $.5 // Q2 - $.8 // Q3 - $1

Other Schedule Items:

Barack Obama campaigns in Iowa. He has a community meeting in New Hampton at 10:30 am ET. He meets with Floyd County residents in Charles City at 12:45 pm ET. Finally, he heads to Mason City for a town hall meeting at 3:00 pm ET.

Joe Biden and John Edwards are also campaigning in Iowa.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is fundraising in Kansas City, Mo., and Morristown, N.J.

Bill Richardson campaigns in Georgia.

As for the Republicans not attending the Americans for Prosperity conference on Friday, McCain raises money in Arizona and Tom Tancredo campaigns in Iowa.


ABC News' David Wright and Sunlen Miller: "Obama Dropped Flag Pin in War Statement" LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: "Craig Decides to Stay on as GOP Senator" LINK

ABC News' Teddy Davis: "Giuliani Ties Romney to 'HillaryCare'" LINK

ABC News' Rick Klein: "Clinton Letter Condemns Torture" LINK

ABC News' Tahman Bradley: "Giuliani Emerges Top Dog in GOP Pack" LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: "GOP Front-Runners in Attack Mode on Taxes and Spending" LINK

ABC News' Eloise Harper: "Hillary Clinton's Man Appeal" LINK

ABC News' Christine Brozyna on Bill Richardson: "From a Minor League Dream to the Big Leagues" LINK