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. Harry C

    Hank has lost it! But he fits right in with the two he is supporting. They are not any better. Hank you better put the cork back on that bottle. Remember what happened last time?

    November 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  2. David Keener

    I never thought in my lifetime USA would have a black candidate for president, how times have changed and we will have broken the race barrier. I only hope Obama can live up to the expectations put upon him. Good luck. God Bless.

    November 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. Kit

    Come on Folks. If we're calling for integrity and decency from the candidates, let's show it ourselves.

    The only plus McCain had going into this campaign was experience, but the way he has handled his campaign – no focus, hateful attacks, lies etc. – I don't think he has learned much from that experience. except maybe those tactics which we are so correct to reject.

    Obama is right. This election is about us! We can let candidates know that we expect honesty and a clear discussion of issues from them. Obama hasn't been perfect in this regard but he has been sooooo much better. More importantly, he has inspired and brought hope to so many people (evident from the tone of these comments). That's what leadership is.

    November 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  4. Nick the Photographer

    Well I think I'll be boycotting Monday Night football now!

    November 4, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  5. John K

    Just more hateful stupidity.

    November 4, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  6. babaganoosh

    Who's Hank Williams,jr?

    November 4, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  7. Sherri Cline

    I cannot believe that an individual who represents Monday Night Football would make a comment that has been debunked repeatedly as nothing more than a desperate lie from a desperate party. Perhaps it's time to let ABC/ESPN/Monday Night Football know what we think of Mr. Williams' blatant lie, which was told in the same breath as his mention of his sponsor. He is entitled to his opinion, but if he is going to us Monday Night Football to bolster his "credibility" we should be able to call them on his behavior.

    November 4, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  8. paul c in san diego

    Yep, again so fun to see the few righties still living in denial! Oh V, I pity your sad soul but it's o.k. Barack welcomes stiffs like you because we are all Americans. He will be the best thing to happen to this country since Kennedy. And the world will see that America is not a nation full of alcoholic white trailor trash rednecks like has been Hank Williams Jr. Bye Bye righties!

    November 4, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  9. Lor

    For all the outrageously biased, racist, and nasty McCain/Palin supporters on this msg. board...you are all so great at slinging crap around regarding a subject (Obama) you haven't even bothered to research, so let me fill you in.
    Obama is a US Citizen, born in Hawaii. He could not be a Senator, let alone President if he wasn't a US Citizen!!!! Please use your brains just a little bit!!!
    The only requirements that must be met during the National Anthem are, standing at attention and removing your hat!!!!
    If you ignorant people want to accuse Obama of being a terrorist, then you will also have to call John McCain a terrorist since he gave half a million dollars to Mr. Kalidi!! But perhaps you should look up the word "terrorist" in a dictionary first, since you're so confused about the meaning!!!
    And finally, how dare you even suggest that you are Christians!!! It's people like you who give REAL CHRISTIANS a bad name!!
    I, like the majority of voters, have chosen to support Barack Obama because he is absolutely NOTHING LIKE YOU REPUBLICANS!!!!
    Obama/Biden 2008!!!

    November 4, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  10. Allen

    The only people who would believe this moron are people who already belive it in the first place.

    Mr. Williams is insignificant and irrelevant.

    November 4, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  11. Joe

    What a stupid comment. This is the problem with the McCain Palin campaign. It has not attracted anybody who has had anything constructive to say about the issues facing most Americans today. Let's hope that tomorrow begins a change - not only electing a new President, but instead saying that elections will be about substance and issues (not the destructive politics we've seen out of the GOP this cycle). I guess if you have no ideas, people who do have ideas seem pretty threatening.

    November 4, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  12. babaganoosh

    Who is this Hank Williams, Jr?

    November 4, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  13. karma sherap

    i don't think that country man or whatever, he can prove that Obama said such a things like that... why not jhon mac cain tell his perty stop lying.... they been lying since their campaine started.. ptetty sure more lies tomorrow

    November 4, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  14. Michelle

    If it is not Palin spreading hate, it's Joe the Plumer,... if it's not Joe the Plumber spreding hate, then it's Hank Williams, Jr. There is always someone in the GOP to spread hate and division. It's these high school tactics that have led the GOP to dig their own grave in this election. Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes and engage in some self-reflection. Lastly, sure am glad that Hank does not represent all country folk and NASCAR fans.

    November 4, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  15. NM for Obama

    Your choice America.

    Vote for the candidate who is focused on OUR future, your's, mine, and our country as it is viewed by the world,

    or

    vote for the candidate who has shown that his only hope for winning is to grasp at straws and cut down his opponent.

    Which one gives you HOPE?

    November 4, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  16. ibarr

    I thought conservatives are partial to the way things used to be? When I was in elementary school in the '50's I am pretty sure they taught us to put our hands over our hearts for the Pledge not the Anthem. Makes sense really if you are pledging allegiance. Of course back then we actually sang the Star Spangled Banner instead of listening to someone else sing it for us. Those of us who prefer singing the Anthem without covering our hearts with our hands are just expressing good old fashioned conservative values.

    November 4, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  17. Ryan

    I'm tired of divisive, intolerant, ignorant people. That's why I'm voting Obama. I'm tired of the politics of hate and division and fear and lies. I only hope we can show the light to these heathens who think it's ok to sow these seeds of hate and violence... and then go about representing themselves as good Christians.

    Shut up "Bocephalus" Hank.

    November 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  18. Michele

    I pray that we can all just make it to the end of the day when the Republicans row away on the river of slime and mud that they have sown, taking that grand opportunist "Joe the Not Plumber " with them.

    November 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  19. Red, white and blue

    Hank, sir, you are a dumb hick! Stick to country music, please. You have no clue about politics and are, obviously, as ignorant about Obama as Sarah is about the constitution. Get ready to welcome President Obama. Maybe you can write a song about it.

    November 4, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  20. mom for obama

    Even the celebrities following McCain & Palin believe the internet lies.

    November 4, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  21. Jim

    A fool and his money are soon parted....and I see a lot of FOOLS here. McCain-Palin and rednecks everywhere hoorey!!!

    November 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  22. Waiting for judgment day

    I just love the way the republican party will say anything just to win an election. They spread lies, deceit, attack viciously all the while they wrap themselves in the cloth of being christians and wear their WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) wristbands. We all know how God will treat hypocrites...

    November 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  23. Stuckey

    Since when did Hank Williams get a nominating for giving advice. People are letting such "dumb" things come out of their mouths. I cannot image Senator Obama holding a conversation with williams and telling him that he does not like the National Anthem. Go sing a song to yourself.

    November 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  24. Mike

    A sign of double trouble for America if OBAMA wins.

    OBAMA/BIDEN>OSAMA LADEN

    November 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  25. Jake

    47 yo male for McCain, and others:

    I don't think you read the entire article...

    It states in the article what Obama's comments were regarding the National Anthem... there were none.

    It also states that the circulated email was debunked a while back.

    Numerous mainstream media outlets have deemed the Obama – Ayers, and Obama – Khalidi connections as irrelevant. The only people who insist on continuing to bring it up are the far right wing run outlets, as well as the numerous internet bloggers with something so incredibly important to say, that they have a readership of 15 folks, until they say something political. You really think these bloggers are propagating the rumors for the good of the nation, but the NY Times, and other outlets are basically saying it doesn't matter? No, the bloggers are saying it to get hits... to make money by saying something controversial.

    It's the same thing that people like Ann Coulter have done to get famous, without having done anything interesting, or relevant, yet somehow they're famous, and make boatloads of cash.

    If you are getting your information on how to vote via emails from people you know, and from Blogs... I know a certain bank somewhere in Africa that has a crapload of money sitting in an account for you. You just have to send them $8000 so that they can hire a lawyer to get it for you. I also hope that you choose NOT to vote on the 4th, because an uninformed vote, in my opinion, is worse than not voting at all.

    Those of you who are doing your research, get out there, and vote for the cantidate who you think will be better for this country. Take your time in deciding, and if you haven't already, read both cantidates plans. Don't lose sight of your local elections either! Keep informed on the propositions on the ballot, and how they effect you! Just be informed, and vote, whether you disagree with what someone else voted or not.

    It's a privledge in this country that we are able to vote... and if we don't do it, there is potential for that right to be taken away because of our apathy. Don't be apathetic... DO SOMETHING!

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