MADISON, Wis. — The Latest on where candidates for governor stand on the national anthem (all times local):

2 p.m.

Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers says he is "proud to stand for the national anthem," but he also respects the rights of people to peacefully protest.

His comments came Thursday after Republican Gov. Scott Walker asked on Twitter whether Evers backed NFL players who kneel in protest during the anthem. Walker tweeted that he believes all players should stand.

Evers says in a statement in response that Walker "wants to distract and divide us--anything to avoid talking about his record."

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Mandela Barnes also got into the action. Barnes questioned Walker's patriotism and asked why he never served in the military. Kleefisch accused Barnes of kneeling during the anthem. He called her a liar.

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12:32 p.m.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker is taking a page out of President Donald Trump's playbook and calling on all NFL players to stand and not take a knee during the national anthem.

Walker issued a series of tweets Thursday, hours before the NFL season kicked off. He punctuated one message with a cartoon image of himself known as a bitmoji in front of an American flag, hand on heart.

In another tweet , Walker asks Democratic challenger Tony Evers where he stands on the issue. Walker retweeted a January message from Evers' running mate Mandela Barnes where he posted "Take a knee" in reaction to a story about whether Trump knew the words to the national anthem.

Barnes responded by asking Walker "you could have served in THREE wars, why didn't you stand up then?"

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Walker wanted players to stand, not take a knee.