KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A clown wearing a President Obama mask appeared at a Missouri State Fair rodeo this weekend and the announcer asked the enthusiastic spectators if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull."
The antics led the state's second highest-ranking official, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, to denounce the performance in a tweet Sunday. He said it was "disrespectful" to the president. "We are better than this," the Republican tweeted.
State Fair officials said the show in Sedalia was "inappropriate" and "does not reflect the opinions or standards" of the fair. "We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday's rodeo badly missed that mark," they said in a statement Sunday.
It wasn't clear if any action will be taken against the performers.
Perry 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, 48, a 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 said. He was at the rodeo with his wife and a student they were hosting from Taiwan. He said they were having a good time until the end of the rodeo.
". . . 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," Beam said.
Officials with the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, which coordinated the rodeo, did not return calls seeking comment Sunday.
After Beam returned home, he posted a photo of the Obama-masked clown on Facebook. The photo and the posting were then promoted online by a blog, Showmeprogress.com, which elicited a huge response Sunday on Twitter.