Missouri State Fair organizers are under fire after a rodeo clown in an Obama mask performed at the event Saturday, angering politicians on both sides of the aisle who deemed the show disrespectful to the president.
A Facebook user detailed Saturday's performance at the fair's bull riding competition in Sedalia, Mo.
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"The announcer wanted to know if anyone would like to see Obama run down by a bull," the post said. "The crowd went wild. He asked it again and again, louder each time, whipping the audience into a lather."
Outrage brewed, with Republicans and Democrats alike speaking out. Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder took to Twitter to share his thoughts.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri released a statement about the Obama clown stunt, calling it a waste of taxpayer dollars.
"The young Missourians who witnessed this stunt learned exactly the wrong lesson about political discourse — that somehow it’s ever acceptable to, in a public event, disrespect, taunt, and joke about harming the president of our great nation," the statement said, according to the Kansas City Star.
Missouri State Fair spokeswoman Kari Mergen released an official statement on behalf of the fair in response to the backlash.
"The performance by one of the rodeo clowns at Saturday's event was inappropriate and disrespectful, and does not reflect the opinions or standards of the Missouri State Fair," the statement read. "We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday’s rodeo badly missed that mark."
The clown who donned the Obama mask was later identified as Tuffy Gessling. He posted an apology on Facebook Sunday night.
"I am sorry. I never meant to offend anyone. I ment (sic) no disrespect to anyone for the joke or jokes I may have said at the rodeo," Gessling's post read. "Once again I never ment (sic) to offend or hurt anyone's feelings."
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