Missouri Fair clown draws criticism for Obama mask

Photo provided by Jameson Hsieh shows clown wearing mask intended to look like President Obama at Missouri State Fair . (AP)

A clown wearing a President Barack Obama mask appeared at a Missouri State Fair rodeo this weekend and the announcer asked spectators if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull."

The state's second-highest-ranking official denounced the performance in a tweet Sunday. Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, said it was "disrespectful" to the president and insisted Missourians "are better than this."

State Fair officials said the performance Saturday in Sedalia was "inappropriate" and "does not reflect the opinions or standards" of the fair.

Spectator Perry Beam says another clown ran up to the one wearing the Obama mask, pretended to tickle him and played with the mask's lips.

Beam says the audience responded enthusiastically.

It wasn't clear if any action will be taken against the performers.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said this regarding Saturday's incident: â??If whatâ??s being reported is true, then itâ??s shameful and itâ??s unacceptable. 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. But the young Missourians who witnessed this stunt learned exactly the wrong lesson about political discourseâ??that somehow itâ??s ever acceptable to, in a public event, disrespect, taunt, and joke about harming the President of our great nation. Missouri is better than this, and I expect someone to be held accountable.â??

While House Minority Leader Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis) and Assistant House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) released this statement:

â??Poking fun at our president is a time-honored tradition in this country, but the incident Saturdaynight at the Missouri State Fair rodeo went well beyond the line. The concept of an angry bull attempting to trample a black man for the amusement of a crowd is neither entertaining nor funny and is not the type of behavior that our taxpayer-subsidized State Fair should promote. â??House Democrats will be asking House Speaker Tim Jones to immediately appoint an interim committee to investigate this incident and to consider whether continued taxpayer funding is appropriate for an event that allows such racist actions to occur.â??