Rep. Steve Stockman (R-36th District) issued a news release Wednesday inviting a clown who wore a mask with President Obama's likeness to perform at a rodeo in his Texas district.
The clown — who was not identified — wore the mask at a rodeo at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia on Saturday.
He had an upside-down broomstick attached to his backside and was positioned on the arena's dirt floor as if he were a dummy. Another clown drew cheers from the audience as he asked if they wanted to see "Obama run down by a bull" and made comments about the bull coming to get Obama.
The event created a firestorm of controversy, with elected officials in Missouri denouncing the clown's act as disrespectful to the president.
"The performance was inappropriate and offensive," Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon said.
Rep. Stockman disagrees, alleging that progressive voices are trying to create a "climate of fear."
“Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if its speech they don’t agree with,” Stockman said in a written statement. “From Molly Ivins to Louie Gohmert and every opinion between Texans value free and open political speech. I’m sure any rodeo in Texas would be proud to have performers.”
The president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association resigned in the wake of the controversy. The unnamed clown has been permanently banned from performing at the Missouri State Fair.
Stockman's district encompasses a large area of southeast Texas, including portions of Houston.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.