Rodeo clown Tuffy Gessling says he'd be honored to shake hands with President Barack Obama, and insists he wasn't "hating" on anyone during a masked skit at the Missouri State Fair.
"I didn't do this to be hating on anyone," Gessling told Kansas City KCTV Monday
. "I did it to be a joke."
However, many in the rodeo crowd didn't find humor in Gessling's antics at the fair, when another clown, wearing a large Obama mask, was being chased by a bull. Gessling told the crowd, "As soon as this bull comes out, Obama, don’t you move, he’s going get ya, get ya, get ya!"
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Some in the crowd compared the act to "a Klan rally," reports National Public Radio
, and politicians from both parties condemned the rodeo clowns' performance.
Gessling said his act was no different from president-poking acts in the past and did not apologize.
"I didn't think anything more of it than what we've done 15 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago, when we've done it with Bush, Clinton, and Ronald Reagan," Gessling said.
But this time, he has received death threats and has been banned from performing at future Missouri State Fairs.
Gessling also hasn't ruled out doing the act again, and said the United States has "a lot more to be mad at than a rodeo clown at a rodeo trying to make somebody laugh."
Further, KCTV reports, Gessling is inviting politicians to come watch him perform at other rodeos and grill him with any questions they have.
"If President Obama turns out, I would be honored to shake his hand," Gessling said.
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