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Obama rodeo clown goes back to work

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tuffy-gessling-1Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown at the center of last month’s state fair controversy in Missouri has gone back to work.

The man behind the age-old rodeo skit that ignited a national controversy when Gessling donned a mask resembling President Obama, was in Jefferson City, Mo., Friday for his first performance since the fair, according to the local CBS affiliate.

A national outcry on the left accusing Gessling of racist intentions resulting in the rodeo performer being banned from performing at the state fair for life. He also received multiple death threats, even though he said he has no personal animosity towards the president.

Gessling told KRCG 13 he’s had a lot of cancellations since the incident.

Amped Up Pro Bull Riding owner Isaiah Dunn told KRCG 13 he booked Gessling months before the state fair and never considered dropping him from the schedule. Dunn said he saw the Obama sketch in person and saw nothing wrong with it.

It wasn’t anything that hasn’t been done all across the United States,” he said.

In the first interview he gave after the incident, Gessling 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.”

Gessling did not include the Obama sketch in his routines Friday, but made reference to the incident several times, KRCG 13 reported. At one point, he told the folks, “I was going to use that joke, but someone might get offended.”

Tom Tillison

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