POLITICS

Tuffy Gessling, Rodeo Clown Who Mocked Obama, 'Would Be Honored' To Shake President's Hand

08/26/2013 05:00 pm 17:00:16 | Updated Aug 26, 2013

The controversial rodeo clown who was fired after depicting President Barack Obama getting charged by a bull earlier this month spoke out on Monday about his stunt, telling KCTV5 that he didn't intend to disrespect the president and would be "honored" to meet Obama.

Tuffy Gessling, who received a lifetime ban from the Missouri State Fair after his depiction of Obama sparked national outrage, said he's received multiple death threats since the August 10 incident.

"I've had somebody threaten to run me over. One of them wanted to burn the house down," he said. "I didn't do this to do any hating on anyone. I did this to be funny. I did it to be a joke."

According to KCTV5, another man wore the Obama mask while Gessling provided commentary. Gessling denies that the act was racially charged.

"I never did anything because of anybody's race. I don't care what color somebody is. If they're blue, white, green, polka dotted, striped ... it doesn't bother me one bit," he said, noting they had previously performed similar acts featuring past presidents.

Gessling said he'd welcome politicians to see his act at other fairs.

"If President Obama turns out, I would be honored to shake his hand," he said.

After Gessling was banned from the Missouri fair, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) invited him to perform in the Lone Star State.

“Disagreeing with speech is one thing. Banning it and ordering citizens into reeducation classes for mocking a liberal leader is another,” Stockman said in a statement. “Liberals have targeted this man for personal destruction to create a climate of fear.”

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) also offered support for Gessling, suggesting that Obama invite the rodeo performer over to the White House for a beer summit.

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