Sedalia, MO — The rodeo clown who sparked outrage after his act mocking President Obama is now talking. He says his act was just a joke, but he's receiving threats for the stunt, Athena Jones has more.
Tuffy Gessling, Rodeo Clown, "I didn't do this to do any hating on anyone. I did it to be funny. I did it to be a joke."
It was a joke that caused an uproar
"President Obama -- Hey, I know I'm a clown. He's just running around acting like one. Doesn't know he is one."
This is Tuffy Gessling, the rodeo clown whose act mocking President Obama ignited controversy, an act some called racist.
Gessling's bit got him banned from the Missouri State Fair for life. Now he's talking to CNN affiliate KCTV about the controversy.
Tuffy Gessling, "I've had someone threaten to run me over. One of them wanted to burn the house down. This clown bit has been around for generations. And I didn't think anything more of it than what we've done 15 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago when we've done it with Bush, Clinton and Ronald Reagan."
Some conservative talk show hosts who came to Gessling's defense agreed, Rush Limbaugh, "This is infantile. This is childish. This is worse than political correctness."
The president hasn't commented, but his spokesman did, Josh Earnest, White House Deputy Press Secretary, "I can tell you as a native Missourian it's certainly not one of the finer moments for our state."
Now that the dust has settled over his rodeo routine, Gessling would like to clear a few things up, "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 says he'll be at another rodeo coming up in Missouri and "If President Obama turns out, I'd be honored to shake his hand."
When asked if he's a Democrat or a Republican, Gessling responded, "I'm a rodeo clown."