Image: Iowa billboard
Deb Nicklay  /  Globe Gazette via AP
A billboard ordered and paid for by the North Iowa Tea Party shows President Barack Obama, Adolf Hitler, left and Vladimir Lenin, in Mason City, Iowa. The billboard has now been papered over.
updated 7/14/2010 12:26:51 PM ET 2010-07-14T16:26:51

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.

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