By Justin Sink - 08/26/13 06:32 PM EDT
The Missouri rodeo clown who came under fire for donning a mask of President Obama during his act earlier this month said he hopes to one day shake the president's hand.
In an interview with KCTV, Tuffy Gessling said that his act wasn't racially motivated.
“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,” he said.
The act was condemned by Missouri lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“I actually think that a lot of people have lost their ability to laugh,” Gessling said. “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.”
He said that he had received death threats but will be participating in an upcoming rodeo in Jefferson City, Mo.
“If President Obama turns out, I would be honored to shake his hand,” Gessling said.
Earlier this month, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) invited Gessling to perform in Texas.
“Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if its speech they don’t agree with,” Stockman said in a statement.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said earlier this month the flap was “not one of the finer moments” for his home state of Missouri, although said he had not spoken about the incident with the president.