ST. LOUIS (KTLA) — The Missouri State Fair issued an apology Sunday after a rodeo clown, during an event at the fairgrounds, wore a black suit jacket and a costume mask intended to resemble President Barack Obama.
“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,” read a statement on the fair’s Facebook page. “We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday’s rodeo badly missed that mark.”
A photo of the rodeo clown was posted Sunday morning on the liberal blogs Show Me Progress and Daily Kos. The photo and an accompanying blog post were apparently copied from the Facebook page of Perry Beam, a Missouri resident.
“Just prior to the start of the bull riding event, one of the clowns came out dressed in this,” according to the post. “The announcer wanted to know if anyone would like to see Obama run down by a bull. The crowd went wild. He asked it again and again, louder each time, whipping the audience into a lather. One of the clowns ran up and started bobbling the lips on the mask and the people went crazy.”
In a video uploaded to YouTube on Sunday, the rodeo announcer is heard saying: “We’re going to smoke Obama! Are you ready? Obama, they’re coming for you this time!”
Beam said he attended fair in Sedalia with his wife, Lily, and a Taiwanese student.
He described a bull approaching the rodeo clown, who jumped and ran away “to the delight of the onlookers hooting and hollering from the stands.”
“We then left quickly and quietly,” Beam continued. “Lily’s student is an inquisitive boy and asks a lot of questions about what he sees, and though he had never been to a rodeo he asked nothing about it, nor anything about America this time. We rode the sixty miles home in silence. In a way I’m glad. I had no answers for him.”
Several of the state’s elected officials reacted to the incident on Twitter.
“I don’t agree w/ this Prez on many things. But he is deserving of respect and shouldn’t be the object of political stunts. Out of line!” Missouri Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) wrote in a tweet.
“If what’s being reported is true, then it’s shameful and it’s unacceptable,” U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said in a statement. “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.
“Missouri is better than this, and I expect someone to be held accountable,” she added.