November 3rd, 2008
09:17 PM ET
6 years ago

Hank Williams, Jr. says Obama doesn't like the National Anthem

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Hank Williams, Jr. has performed at several McCain-Palin campaign events.
Hank Williams, Jr. has performed at several McCain-Palin campaign events.

(CNN) - In the waning hours of the presidential race, the toughest shot against Barack Obama may not have come from the Republican ticket, but from country music star Hank Williams, Jr.

The country-rocker, a campaign trail fixture who has penned a special song for the GOP ticket called "McCain-Palin Tradition," suggested Monday Obama doesn't like the national anthem.

“You know, I’m usually at Monday Night Football tonight, but Colorado, this is a lot more important tonight. Join me now in our national — you know, that song that, uh, Mr. Obama’s not real crazy about, we’re singing it right now," he said before performing his version of the song.

Williams, Jr., aka Bocephus, also performed "McCain-Palin Tradition," which includes a line that suggests Obama has "terrorist friends."

After playing both songs, Palin thanked Williams, Jr. for his help on the campaign trail, and did not acknowledge the national anthem remark.

The comments appear to reference a long-debunked e-mail rumor that Barack Obama refuses to put his hand on his heart when the national anthem is played. That e-mail stems from a 2007 photograph showing the Illinois senator with his hands by his side during a performance of the song.

The e-mail also stated Obama said the national anthem is a "war-like message" and should be swapped for a tune like "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing."

Obama, in fact, has never said those things.

soundoff (356 Responses)
  1. Paul in Canada

    Hmmm. what a country musician thinks? Merle Haggard made more sense when he said a few months back: "Financially, we're broke. Nobody has any confidence in the man in charge. We're torturing people; we're not known to be that kind of people. People all over the world look up to us, and we're not setting a very good example."

    November 4, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  2. Silence Dogood

    I can only hope that an Obama win can put an end to the divisive tactics made so popular on the Right by Karl Rove. A GOP defeat might actually cause the party of Lincoln to re-think their "values" and come to the realization that demonizing those who disagree with your views does not and should not work.

    November 4, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  3. Danny

    Does anyone see a pattern here? Another member of the LEGION OF STUPIDOS! talking from their backside.

    If this is what being a Republican is all about, then i forsee them loosing most of their members. Too many COWS in that party! I urge the decent Republicans to reconsider their affiliation. There are wayyy more decent Democrats and Independents.

    OBAMA 08'

    November 4, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  4. Tootsie

    I've never been a big fan of the National Anthem either.

    God Bless America is a decent song.

    Bombs bursting in air, rockets red glare, twilights last gleaming?
    Not all that well written.

    Just my opinion. Francis Scott Key was no lyrical genius.

    The bottom line is, it's all about respect for your country.
    I think Obama has respect for his country. So does McCain.
    That doesn't mean I'm going to vote for Barack though.

    November 4, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  5. Ditto Tries Again

    And this stays on the Ticker all afternoon because???

    November 4, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  6. Obama Mama

    Do you want eight more years of this backwoods nonsense, America? Do you want Palin and 'Bocephus' to be rewarded for going around the country stirring up hatred and division, for trying to scare up votes by calling their opponent a terrorist? Then please, I'm begging you, stand up against this stuff once and for all and go cast your vote tomorrow for Barack Obama. These low-lifes were all born in a barn, and tomorrow we can send them back there once and for all.

    November 4, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  7. True Proof

    Mr. Hank William, Jr. was not lying. Watch "Meet the Press" interview.
    Sun, 07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST,

    General Bill Ginn' USAF (ret.) asked Obama to explain why he doesn't
    follow protocol when the National Anthem is played. The General also stated to the Senator that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec.171.... During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. At the very least, 'Stand and Face It'

    Senator Obama Live on Sunday states,
    'As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides, Obama said. 'There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all it should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I might salute it.' We should consider to reinvent our National Anthem as well as to redesign our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love..."

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it right. This could possibly be our next President. I, for one, am speechless.

    Dale Lindsborg,
    Washington Post"

    Which side do you think or want the President of the USA to take: American side or the "other sides"? Wake up America, before it is too late! We have only one more day to make the right choice.

    Rifht choise

    November 4, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  8. Chris Harris

    Incredibly ignorant, uninformed, non critical, unsubstantiated, unethical argument. Why I am not surprised its from a Republican idol?

    November 4, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  9. Texun

    I can remember Hank Junior when he was a pretty good singer, but, then, I'm almost as old as McCain.

    November 4, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  10. Ryan

    I'm tired of the hate and the lies. Do they think that anyone with a brain likes this attempt at manipulation? To me the Republican Party has become the Theocrat / Bigot party.

    November 4, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  11. dave

    interesting.

    does anyone else see the similarities between hank jr. and our current president?

    both their fathers were more successful and the sons are swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool.

    hey hank – are you ready for some obama!?!

    November 4, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  12. me again

    Wow, "trock" and "J of Va", I love the way you dyed in the wool redneck Repubs are so proud and upfront with the fact that you can't even form a reasonable sentence. And "J of Va", Obama not a citizen? Did you skip school that day that they explained citizenship? What, was there a cipherin' test that day you wanted to miss? Just think, now you can use your white sheets on the bed, the way they were intended. The Civil War is way over boys.

    November 4, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  13. Kelly

    How about Hank stick to what he does best (or at least semi-well because he'll never be as good as his father) and just sing. Stay the hell outta politics! Just curious, but I wonder if he also arrived to the rally with a white sheet. Hmmm....

    November 4, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  14. Michael

    Sad...

    Living in an echo chamber, I'd guess.

    .

    November 4, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  15. harold

    Until I read these comments from Hank Williams, Jr., he had some cred. Now I know he's just another misinformed and gullible entertainer. Stick to monday night football Hank. That's about your level of competence.

    November 4, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  16. Tony

    Oh my God! These Republicans will stop at nothing to say the most absurd things! It's like that woman telling McCain that Obama is a Muslim. We all just shake our head and take the mic away from these idiots that think they actually know the "truth." Their truth is based on lies and more lies. That is why they will not win.

    November 4, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  17. Clc

    Rev Wright is a Traitor. God "d%$#" America.. those words came from Obamas good friend...and y'all want to talk about HWJ? The hate is coming from the democrats. HATE HATE HATE. Ive never seen such hate and filth in my life. Someone said today that they HATE Palin and wish she were dead. My God! This country needs help.

    Watch this country die a slow miserable existence of hate and violence...we are seeing right now..today...what is to come...and its not a peaceful existence. Its a scary scary world.

    November 4, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  18. Maplede

    Obama-Biden 2008 and 2012, Nov. 3, 2008 – Well said! AMEN! & SO BE IT! My circle of prayer warriors have also been praying Isaiah 54:17 for Sen. Obama since January...and HE that promised, has been faithful! OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    November 4, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  19. Danny

    Does anyone see a pattern here? Another member of the LEGION OF STUPIDOS! talking from their backside.

    If this is what being a Republican is all about, then i forsee them loosing most of their members. Too many COWS in that party! I urge the decent Republicans to reconsider their affiliation. There are wayyy more decent Democrats and Independents.

    BTW Hank! Go and research on the internet or youtube (if u know what that means) about McCain and how he leaked US intelligence in VIETNAM and keeps fighting to cover it all up even in Senate!!!!!! If that is your definition of Patriotism, then i am a Billionaire!!!!$$$$$

    OBAMA 08′

    November 4, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  20. Linda, Virginia

    Hey, Mummy and Dummy! How low can you go?

    LET'S GET READY FOR A LANDSLIDE!

    President Obama
    Vice President Biden

    November 4, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  21. Arizonan for Obama/Biden

    Well Hank at least Obama didn't ride the coat tail of his father to become famous or even run for President, he was able to do it on his own without his dad.

    November 4, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  22. Zac

    It is should not be considered a slam against patriotism, simply because somebody does not put their hand over their heart during the National Anthem. We should be happy to see that somebody can safely remove god from state. It is about time that somebody separates the two. I thought we left "God save the Queen" back in England. Or is the Revolution a hoax, part of some eternal conspiracy?

    November 4, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  23. Mike - Chicago

    Again, those putting McCain/Palin forward are dispicable liars, who seem to think if they tell the same lies over and over, the people in front of them will believe these tales. Hey Hank – next time you're at Nascar, I hope you PERSONALLY admonish all the rednecks who are drinking beer and eating nachos during the National Anthem, that is, if you can remove yourself under the weight of your own stupidity to even notice. And shame on Palin for allowing you get away with it. 1 racist redneck + 1 irrelevant governor = President Obama.

    November 4, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  24. Brett

    guess what they wont moderate or allow republicans to comment on this site

    November 4, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  25. CanUSayPresidentObama!

    He likes the National Anthem, maybe not your redneck divisive version but one that is more inclusive of all Americans.

    November 4, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
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