Rep. King urges Obama to hold beer summit with rodeo clown

Rep. Steve King on Friday urged the president to host a beer summit with the rodeo clown who donned an Obama mask at the Missouri State Fair earlier this week.

King (R-Iowa) said Obama should lower the temperature down and have a laugh, arguing the incident had nothing to do with race. 

Obama famously had a "beer summit" in 2009 after Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested by police while trying to enter his home. Obama said one of the officers in the case, Sgt. James Crowley, had "acted stupidly."

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The president was criticized sharply for his remarks and subsequently invited the two to the White House to talk over beers.

The rodeo controversy erupted earlier this week, when the clown portraying the president was introduced by an announcer who asked the audience if they wanted to see “Obama run down by a bull.”

The fair has banned the clown from performing again, angering some conservatives who say that the incident had nothing to do with race. They point out that rodeo clowns have mocked presidents from both parties in the past by wearing masks.

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) earlier this week invited the clown to perform at a rodeo in his home district, saying liberals want to “crush dissent by isolating and polarizing anyone who questions Obama.”

Missouri lawmakers including Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder denounced the incident earlier this week. The NAACP called it a hate crime. 

One of the sharpest rebuttals came from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who painted the incident as racist “through and through.”