A rodeo clown at a Missouri State fair wore a mask designed to look like President Obama as announcers asked
This photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows a clown wearing a mask intended to look like President Obama at the Missouri State Fair on Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. (Photo by Jameson Hsieh/AP)
A rodeo clown dressed in a President Obama face mask appeared at a Missouri state fair this weekend while the announcer asked the gathered crowd if they wanted to see him trampled by a bull.
The crowd cheered when the announcer asked if they were ready to see Obama be trampled by a bull, according to Perry Beam, who attended the fair and shared his experiences and pictures with NBC’s KSHB News.
Missouri State Fair organizers have issued an apology for the incident calling it “inappropriate.”
“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,” officials said in a statement released Sunday. “We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday’s rodeo badly missed that mark.”
The incident occurred during a week in which the president was greeted in two states–Florida and Arizona–by racially charged protests. In Florida, some protesters held a “Kenyan Go Home” sign as Obama made his way to a disabled veterans event Saturday, and last Tuesday, while on his way to speak about affordable housing, some demonstrators sang “Bye Bye Black Sheep.”
Beam, who had brought a Taiwanese student to the event along with his wife, called it a “disgusting a portrayal of a sitting president.”
“One of the reasons that we took him there was that this is something purely American, and then they come out and do something filthy like that,” he said.
“We’re gonna smoke Obama man,” the announcer can be heard saying on full-length version of the recording provided to CNN, adding later. “Obama, we’re coming for you this time.”
Another clown can be heard on the recording saying, ”Hey, I know I’m a clown. He’s just running around acting like one. Doesn’t know he is one.”
Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri called the incident “shameful,” and said it was “unacceptable.” Gov. Jay Nixon also condemned the use of the clown as did the state’s Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.