The rodeo clown whose antics wearing an Obama mask at the Missouri State Fair caused an absurd outcry by supporters of President Obama gave his first on-camera interview this week and said he has received multiple death threats since the incident.
Tuffy Gessling said he has no personal animosity towards the president and would be “honored to shake his hand.” He also acknowledged that the skit has been around for years.
“I didn’t do this to do any hating on anyone. I did it to be funny. I did it to be a joke. This clown bit has been around for generations,” Gessling said. “And I didn’t think anything more of it than what we’ve done 15 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago — when we’ve done it with Bush and Clinton and Ronald Reagan.”
The difference being the hyper-sensitivity in place with Obama, characterized by the person who first drew attention to the bit by saying it felt “like some kind of Klan rally you’d see on TV.”
Gessling said he has received five death threats since the incident and the negative reaction is what inspired him to speak out.
“I’ve had somebody threaten to run me over, one of them wanted to burn the house down,” he stressed. “I’ve had one lady spit in my face, called me a dirty name, spit in my face and walked off.”
In saying that people have lost their ability to laugh, Gessling added, “Look at the country as a whole, there’s a lot more to be mad at than a rodeo clown at a rodeo trying to make somebody laugh.”