The anti-Obama hits just keep on coming. This time the attack is coming from a Missouri State Fair, where the rodeo decided to have a rodeo clown wear a President Obama mask, have other clowns play with the lips of the “president” and ask the crowd if they wanted to see “Obama run down by a bull.”
The condemnation of the rodeo’s actions have come from both sides of the aisle. Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, sent out a tweet saying the clown act was “disrespectful” to Obama, and “we are better than this.”
A spokesman for Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, said the governor “agrees that the performance was disrespectful and offensive, and does not reflect the values of Missourians or the State Fair.”
State Fair officials issued a statement calling the performance “inappropriate.”
“We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday’s rodeo badly missed that mark,” the statement said.
The Missouri state fair commission unanimously voted to ratify a decision by Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe to ban for life the unidentified rodeo clown who donned the mask, according to a statement from officials posted on Facebook.
“The rodeo clown did an act that was not in the script, it was not approved by the board of directors of MCRA and it was not appropriate,” rodeo association president Mark Ficken told NBC affiliate KSHB in Kansas City, Mo. “We extend our apologies to the Missouri State Fair. Rodeo is not a political platform and will not be again. We are taking disciplinary action.”
Albert S. Watkins, Ficken’s attorney, said the unidentified clown was acting on his own volition — and that it was the clown, wearing a microphone, who made the anti-Obama comments that excited the crowd, not his client.
Watkins told NBC News that the only comment Fickens made that “included reference to Obama” was “Watch out for that bull, Obama!”
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“My client is basically shaking like a small dog passing razorblades,” Watkins said.
Much of the furor was initiated by spectator Perry Beam, who took video and pictures of the spectacle because he was so appalled.
Beam said “everybody screamed” and “just went wild” as the announcer talked about having the bull run down the clown with the Obama mask.
“‘It was at that point I began to feel a sense of fear. It was that level of enthusiasm,” Beam, a 48-year-old musician from Higginsville, told The Associated Press.
Beam said another clown ran up to the one wearing the Obama mask, pretended to tickle him and played with the lips on the mask. Beam said about 15 minutes into the performance, the masked clown had to leave after a bull got too close.
“It was the usual until the very end at bull riding,” he said. “As they were bringing the bulls into the chute and prepping them… They bring out what looks like a dummy. The announcer says ‘Here’s our Obama dummy, or our dummy of Obama.’ They mentioned the president’s name, I don’t know, 100 times. It was sickening. It was feeling like some kind of Klan rally you’d see on TV.”
“The State Fair is funded by taxpayer dollars, and is supposed to be a place where we can all bring our families and celebrate the state that we love,” said Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill. “But 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.”