There's bipartisan criticism of the Missouri State Fair for a gag in which a rodeo clown donned a President Obama mask, and asked a crowd if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull."
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, tweeted that 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 called the performance "inappropriate," and added in a statement: "We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday's rodeo badly missed that mark."
From the Associated Press:
Late Monday, the
Missouri State Fair announced it had banned a rodeo clown who this past weekend
donned a President Obama mask, and asked a crowd if they wanted to see
"Obama run down by a bull."
Officials said the clown will never perform at the fair again, the Associated Press reported.
Organizers are also reviewing whether to take any actions against the contractor responsible for Saturday's rodeo.
Also from the Associated Press:
Beam, who was among the spectators, 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, said Sunday, referring to the reaction from
the crowd that filled the fair's grandstand.
"He said another
clown ran up to the one wearing the Obama mask, pretended to tickle him
and played with the lips on the mask. About 15 minutes into the
performance, the masked clown had to leave after a bull got too close,
Beam also said:
"It was the usual until the very
end at bull riding. 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."