A billboard created by an Iowa tea party group comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin has been removed.
Kent Beatty, the general manager of the company that owns the billboard, says a North Iowa Tea Party representative called Tuesday night and asked that the sign in downtown Mason City be removed.
Beatty says his company replaced the sign Wednesday morning with a public service announcement.
The original sign showed photographs of Obama, Nazi leader Hitler and communist leader Lenin beneath the labels "Democrat Socialism," "National Socialism," and "Marxist Socialism."
Some tea party members criticized the sign, and North Iowa Tea Party co-founder Bob Johnson acknowledged the pictures overwhelmed the intended message of anti-socialism.
The North Iowa Tea Party began displaying the billboard in downtown Mason City last week. Beneath the photos is the phrase, "Radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive."
The co-founder of the roughly 200-person group said the billboard was intended to send an anti-socialist message. "The purpose of the billboard was to draw attention to the socialism. It seems to have been lost in the visuals," Johnson said. "The pictures overwhelmed the message. The message is socialism."