Palin Defends Hank Williams, Jr. After He Says, "Obama's Not Real Crazy About" The National Anthem

(CBS)
From CBS News' Scott Conroy:

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - At a Sarah Palin rally here tonight, country music star Hank Williams, Jr. took the stage to sing the national anthem, as he has done at Palin events across the country for weeks. But this time, the singer decided to share his personal views about Barack Obama with the crowd.

"You know, I'm usually at 'Monday Night Football' tonight, but Colorado, this is a lot more important tonight," Williams, Jr. said. "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."

The crowd cheered, and Williams, Jr. sang the national anthem. The country singer then went into an ode he penned about the Republican presidential ticket, a song called "McCain/Palin Tradition," which has lyrics referring to Palin as a "good lookin' dish."

Palin then stepped up to the microphone and defended Williams Jr.'s right to free speech.

"We want to take a minute here to thank Hank Williams Jr.," Palin said. "Over the past couple of months he has traveled with us. He and his most beautiful family stops all along the way this campaign trail. Now this is the last rally that we get to do together, and he's been just a great inspiration—never one to hide his opinion or be afraid to share it. Hey, he exercises those First Amendment rights. We love him! Yes. So we want to thank Hank and we are going to see him tomorrow night on the other side of victory, my friend."

Though Paln defended Williams Jr.'s rights, she said nothing to the crowd to disabuse the crooner's notion that Obama isn't fond of the national anthem. Palin has, however, previously said that she is sure Obama loves his country and doesn't doubt his patriotism.
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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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