The rodeo clown whose antics wearing an Obama mask at the Missouri State Fair this summer caused a national uproar is speaking out.
“Professional rodeo clown” Tuffy Gessling told Missouri’s KCTV in an effort to set the record straight and say the skit had nothing to do with race and that the joke 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”
While many saw Gessling’s antics as racist, the rodeo clown contends his actions had nothing to do with race.
“I never did anything because of anybody’s race. I don’t care what color somebody is. If they’re blue, white, green, polka dotted, striped… it doesn’t bother me one bit,” Gessling said going on to add that politics did not play a role either, answering a question about his party affiliation by saying “I am a rodeo clown.”
Gessling, who has been banned from the Missouri State Fair for life and been the subject of angry comments from leaders, said he has received five death threats.
“I’ve had somebody threaten to run me over, one of them wanted to burn the house down,” he said.
According to Gessling a lot of people have lost their ability to laugh.
“I actually think a lot of people have lost their ability to laugh. Look at the country as a whole there is a lot more to be mad at than a rodeo clown at a rodeo trying to make somebody laugh.”
KCTV reports that while Gessling has not had work since the state fair, he will be at a rodeo in Jefferson City, MO.
“If President Obama turns out I would be honored to shake his hand,” he said.