Palin defends charge Obama ‘not real crazy about’ national anthem

Appearing at an election-eve rally in Colorado Springs on Monday, Sarah Palin stood up for country singer Hank Williams Jr. after the crooner took a swipe at Barack Obama, saying the Democratic presidential nominee is “not real crazy about” the national anthem.

Williams, who has appeared over the last month at GOP rallies, revved up the crowd of about 4,000 at an airport hangar when he announced his plans to sing “The Star Spangled Banner,” according to CBS News.

“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.”

Palin took the stage after Williams sang the national anthem, followed by a rousing rendition of “McCain-Palin Tradition,” a reworked version of his “Family Tradition” hit from the 1970s.

The Alaska governor proceeded to defend the singer’s right to question Obama’s patriotism, citing the First Amendment:

“We want to take a minute here to thank Hank Williams Jr. … 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.”

CBS reporter Scott Conroy notes Palin said nothing to the crowd to correct the singer’s assertion “Obama’s not real crazy about” the national anthem, though she has said in the past that she believes Obama loves his country and is patriotic.

Obama spokesman Matt Chandler told the Rocky Mountain News, “(All) of the last-minute negative attacks in the world can’t distract voters from the fact that John McCain and Sarah Palin will continue the failed economic policies of George W. Bush.”

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