The Bush image was to accompany the song "The Hand That Feeds," which obliquely criticizes the Iraq war. It includes the lyrics: "What if this whole crusade's a charade / And behind it all there's a price to be paid / For the blood on which we dine / Justified in the name of the holy and the divine."
MTV said in a statement to its news division that the network was disappointed the industrial rock band would not perform but had been "uncomfortable with their performance being built around a partisan political statement."
The Foo Fighters (search) will perform in place of the Trent Reznor-led band at the awards being taped June 4 in Los Angeles.
Reznor said in a statement posted on the band's Web site Thursday that the image of the president would have been unaltered and "straightforward."
"Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me," he said.
Nine Inch Nails' fourth studio album and first in six years, "With Teeth (search)," debuted this month at No. 1 in sales.