08/14/2012 06:51 pm ET Updated Aug 14, 2012

Obama Iowa State Fair Visit Cost Republican Tent Owner $25,000, He Claims

Carolyn Kaster, AP

When President Obama showed up Monday at the Iowa State Fair, Cookie Smith, a 16-year old manning a cinnamon roll booth asked the President if he wanted one. Obama declined and said that he was saving space for pork chop on a stick, according to the White House pool report. At another nearby stand, he turned down a smoothie. "Smoothie sounds OK," he reportedly replied, "but a beer sounds better."

Smith and the smoothie-maker may want to thank the president for passing.

Obama's decision to post up at The Bud Tent for a cold one cost the tent's owner $25,000, according to a report by The Des Moines Register.

To make way for the president, the Secret Service reportedly shut down the tent during a lucrative time, the tent's owner, Mike Cunningham II, said in an interview with the Register. Potus “put a damper on what I’m trying to do here,” Cunningham, who is a Republican, told the newspaper. "I wouldn’t have voted for [Obama] before,” he added. “I won’t again.”

The Obama campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A tweet by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) Monday evening brought attention to the alleged incident:

In another tweet, Grassley accused Obama of costing the 65-year-old Bud Tent $50,000. Cunningham, a third-generation owner of The Bud Tent, told reporters from the Register that the figure was closer to half that amount. Other tent owners nearby reported that the president's visit had zero effect on their sales.



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