Hank Williams Jr. explains why he compared Obama to Hitler
The reaction to his comments was swift. Williams, famous for howling "Are you ready for some football?" saw his visage and song yanked from ESPN's Monday Night Football opener.
The country star released a statement to media outlets suggesting he was misunderstood during comments he made on Fox News in which he criticized Obama's golf game with House Speaker John Boehner:
"Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme -- but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me -- how ludicrous that pairing was. They're polar opposites and it made no sense. They don't see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the President. Every time the media brings up the tea party it's painted as racist and extremists -- but there's never a backlash -- no outrage to those comparisons... Working class people are hurting -- and it doesn't seem like anybody cares. When both sides are high-fiving it on the ninth hole when everybody else is without a job -- it makes a whole lot of us angry. Something has to change. The policies have to change."
Quick rewind for those of you just catching up: Williams was a Monday morning guest on Fox News (video below) to discuss his take on the Republican field of presidential candidates. Seemingly out of nowhere, Williams brought up the golf game.
"You remember the golf game they had? That was one of the biggest political mistakes ever. That turned a lot of people off ... it just didn't go over."
Then he adds, "C'mon! It'd be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. OK? Not hardly?"
"They're the enemy," he says. When asked who he means by "they" he shouts "Obama!" and adds Vice President Joe Biden in the mix, referring to them as being two of the "Three Stooges."
The Fox crew gives Williams the opportunity to clarify himself -- again and again. Anchor Gretchen Carlson later said to him: "You used the name of one of the most hated people in all of the world to describe, I think, the president."
Williams does not back down. "Well, that is true. But I'm telling you like it is."
ESPN's statement on the matter did not make clear whether Williams will be restored to MNF glory. “While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast,” the network's statement said.
-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch
Photo: Hank Williams Jr. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press