Hank Williams Jr. apologizes for Obama-Hitler comment

Wed Oct 5, 2011 1:58am EDT
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By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country music singer Hank Williams Jr. canceled a Fox News Channel interview on Tuesday and said he was sorry for any offense given by his recent statement comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.

The apology of sorts was posted on his website a day after the Disney-owned cable sports channel ESPN pulled Williams' theme song from its latest "Monday Night Football" broadcast in a rebuke to the country star for his Hitler remark.

Appearing on the Fox News morning program "Fox & Friends" on Monday, Williams said he thought that a June 18 golf summit pairing Obama with Republican House speaker John Boehner in the midst of the congressional budget crisis had "turned a lot of people off."

Asked what he didn't like about the friendly bipartisan golf match, Williams replied, "Come on! It'd be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu." He went on to refer to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as "the enemy."

After his "All My Rowdy Friends" song was yanked from the "Monday Night Football" opening by ESPN later that day in protest, Williams issued a statement acknowledging that his "analogy was extreme" but insisting it was intended to illustrate how ludicrous he thought it was for Obama and Boehner to team up at golf.

"They're polar opposites and it made no sense. They don't see eye-to-eye and never will," the bearded singer said.

Williams, 62, was scheduled to return to the Fox News Channel with an interview on Tuesday on the "Hannity" show, but the network told Reuters that the singer decided to cancel.

Hours later, he posted yet another, somewhat more contrite statement, saying: "I have always been very passionate about politics and sports, and this time it got the best or worst of me.   Continued...

<p>Singer Hank Williams Jr. points into the crowd at a campaign rally with Senator John McCain in Columbus, Ohio October 31, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder</p>