A rodeo act that had a clown dressed as President Barack Obama nearly run down by a bull during a Missouri State Fair event Saturday has been condemned by the state's top Republican and Democratic leaders as offensive.
According to the Springfield News-Leader
, Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon criticized the performance in a statement as "disrespectful and offensive," saying it "does not reflect the values of Missourians or the State Fair."
Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder condemned it as well on his Twitter account and called on Nixon to hold state fair officials responsible.
"I condemn the actions disrespectful to POTUS the other night. We are better than this," Kinder tweeted.
A video of the rodeo obtained by the Kansas City Star
shows one of the rodeo clowns wearing an Obama mask as someone announces to the crowd, "We're going to smoke Obama, man."
"As soon as this bull comes out, Obama don’t you move, he’s going get ya, get ya, get ya!" the announcement went.
According to several media reports, some in the crowd got whipped up and began cheering and yelling.
"It was at that point I began to feel a sense of fear. It was that level of enthusiasm," Perry Beam, a musician who was at the rodeo, told the Associated Press
"They mentioned the president’s name, I don’t know, 100 times. It was sickening," he added. "It was feeling like some kind of Klan rally you’d see on TV."
The Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association that organized the event apologized on its website, noting that the act was inappropriate.
"We are taking measures by training and educating our contract acts to prevent anything like this from ever happening again," the association said.
State fair officials also released a statement acknowledging the show as inappropriate and disrespectful.
"We strive to be a family-friendly event and regret that Saturday's rodeo badly missed that mark," the statement said.
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