A Texas Republican congressman has invited a rodeo clown who has been banned from the Missouri State Fair for a mocking depiction of President Obama to perform in his district.
Rep. Steve Stockman, a conservative whose rural district stretches east of Houston, said he was extending the invitation and defending the clown because liberals “want to crush dissent by isolating and polarizing anyone who questions Obama.”
“Liberals want to bronco-bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if it's speech they don’t agree with,” the lawmaker said in a Wednesday news release. “Disagreeing with speech is one thing. Banning it and ordering citizens into re-education classes for mocking a liberal leader is another.
“The idea [is] to create a state of fear and make people afraid to trivialize Obama.”
Missouri state and fair officials moved quickly to ban rodeo clown Tuffy Gessling after he donned a mask of President Obama at the fair last weekend and asked people if they want to see the president “run down by a bull.”
Democrats and many Republican have condemned the act as insensitive, with some saying it was racist.
Gessling later downplayed the incident, telling digitalBURG, a student-run news service from the University of Central Missouri, that “nothing racist was ever implied.”
“Comedians all over the country have used political figures to make fun of current events, it’s nothing new,” he said. “I never tried to be a racist or anything like that. I love all people no matter their background.”