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

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

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. Hank This !

    The photo of Hank says it all! What an abosolute REDNECK. Hank looks like Joes six pack with a beard.

    November 3, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. Positive in NC

    Williams and Palin should be ashamed of themselves!

    November 3, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    The Dixie Chicks are more talented, better looking and more intelligent than Hank William Jr. will ever be and when he lies about politics it really shows. Much like the Bushes the talent and judgment the Seniors have it all over the juniors.

    November 3, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  4. Eric

    And these are the same people we are going to have to try and bring together after the election? Where do you even sad.

    November 3, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  5. Dave

    Hank Sr was a pioneer in the country western music field .... Hank Jr is just a good ole southern boy bigot. So, what else is new?

    November 3, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  6. Artrina

    The Dems have been in control of the House and the Senate for 2 YEARS. And the House and Senate have approval ratings not much higher than Bush. What have the Dems done? At least we know who McCain is. Obama is nothing but hot air and no record of action!

    November 3, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. Patience

    If people would shut up and reall listen to what Obama has been saying they would see that Hank is right! People need to wise up and open their eyes now before its to late and we have someone in office that makes the United States worse!

    November 3, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. Mrs. M. (Pennsylvania)

    You must be kidding! I watched the live rally when he began to sing...and all I can do is wonder if he actually gets paid for what he does. Even the media stations tuned out when what sounded like a bad american idol wanna be began singing. It was pathetic. Another racist who deserves a good swift kick in his good-ole-boy pants!

    November 3, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. Old Lady

    McCain didn't have a flag pin on his jacket lapel at any of the debates.

    Obama all three.

    John McCain, why do you hate your country so?

    November 3, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. Linda32

    hank Williams, Jr is crazy. You would think that the McCain/Palin campaign would want to stay away from crazies like this but they love it. go figure and they claim to be fighting for the nation? whatever

    November 3, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  11. Sick of CNN

    It is always interesting to me how shamelessly biased CNN is. They always have a nice slant on reporting the news. Uh.. where's ACORN coverage... no ballot stuffing to cover? Boy they sure buried that story in a hurry. The 2007 photograph of Obama was an accurate depiction of him standing there, hands by his side, as the national anthem was played. Disgraceful! But of course CNN isn't going to say that. Much like their coverage of Hezbollah missiles flying down on Israel.... nope they're not going to mention that either. Oh but they'll report about the Israeli attacks on Beirut. "The most trusted name in news..." . yeah right. The most biased name in news reporting is a more accurate description.

    November 3, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  12. Bill

    I hope everyone remembers Palin's willful deafness during this election season.
    Obama is a decent hard working man and does not deserve to be called a terrorist or a socialist.
    Hopefully after tomorrow Palin will go back to Alaska and take all of her hateful followers with her,

    November 3, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  13. Davis in NC

    I just spit up a little into my mouth. I'm sure many Americans would not care much for the national anthem if it had always be rendered as horrendously as I saw it delivered today by Hank Williams Jr. at one of the Palin rallies. I could've done a better job humming the song. The most ironic aspect of the performance was that while it was supposed to be entertainment, it quickly became acoustic torture. He presents a very representative picture of the "low information" voters Chris Matthews referenced last week that are genuinely uninterested in seeking official information and more than content to remain ignorant on the candidates' records and the issues at hand.

    November 3, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  14. barry

    Hank is a bigger jerk-off than McCain and Palin put together...don't quit your day job, fool

    November 3, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  15. 30-m-PA-voted McCain

    It's true. I clearly remember the picture of Obama standing on stage with Clinton and Richardson in Iowa and he was the only one not putting his hand over his heart. Think about it. You're on stage in front of hundreds perhaps thousands of people. You've got photographers from around the world and tv cameras. You are essentially being viewed by the entire world. You're standing their and looking at everyone putting their hands over their heart, yet you don't and you're running for president of the United States of America. Something is really wrong with that picture. Can someone say Bill Ayers?!

    November 3, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  16. Cheryle C. Teague

    Reference Sen. Obama's statements concerning our Nat'l anthem. CNN, you need to read the transcript from, Meet the Press, 07 Sept. 2008. Gen Mc Gin asks Sen. Obama about our Nat'l anthem and Sen. Obama's response was that "it sounded warlike." He also states why he does not place his hand on his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. All anyone needs to do is read the Meet the Press transcript. Cheryle C. Teague

    November 3, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  17. Todd M

    This is the GOP of the future? No thanks.

    November 3, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  18. Sowega Independent

    Hank Jr. a Has-Been? I never knew he was a "is". All I know is that he doesn't have a whiff of the talent his Daddy had. HW the 3rd is twenty times the performer Jr. is. Must skip generations.

    Are you ready for some Sell-Ooooout! A Monday Night Paycheeeeeeck! Here comes ignorant ol' Hank, to strike the hate maaaaatch!

    November 3, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  19. Ricardo

    to "Why Obama has lost Already" Why would you secretly support your own candidate if you truly believed in his ability – you wouldn't hurt my feelings if you told me you supported McCain, I might question your judgment though! Common, you know all the poll results are not favoring Obama just because a bunch of McCain supporters want to keep the peace – after all, aren't you all a bunch of hawks!

    November 3, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  20. J Of Va

    I really dont care about the songs, who cares, the real issue is that Obama is not a US Citizen, and why are we not delaying the elections to find out why this issue is still not resolved

    November 3, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Keep your mouth shut Jr.

    November 3, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  22. Wake up people

    Well I guess people in the military must not like the song either because whenthe national anthem place inside they stand at attention or when outdoors they salute. Everyone knows the only requirement for the national anthem is to take off you hat. Placing your hand over your heart is for the Pledge of Alligiance.

    November 3, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  23. Obama Family, 1600 Pennsylvannia Ave

    Toby Keith supports Barack Obama and Democratic Party! I'll listen to Toby any day of the week before Hank Jr.

    Hank is an ignorant as they get with the same GWB thought, "you're either for us or against us attitude." Keep the McCains, Palins and Bushes.

    November 3, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  24. AA

    Rednecks - the real minorities in the country.

    Keep singing Jr., keep talking Palin. Each time you open your mouth, more cash comes in to the DNC.

    Cause your just so motivational.


    November 3, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  25. Angel

    Ignorace to the lowest level...conservatives are crazy...seriously where do these people some up with these things...are these people nomal?

    November 3, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
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