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POLITICS: PennAve

Rep. Steve Stockman: NAACP’s call for Obama clown probe is ‘silly’

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Rep. Steve Stockman,  who earlier this week invited a rodeo clown to Texas after the performer was banned from the Missouri State Fair for an unflattering depiction of President Obama, said a request by the Missouri chapter of the NAACP for the Justice Department and Secret Service to investigate the matter was “silly” and should be ignored.

“A rodeo clown is really a nominal thing and it hurt no one,” Stockman told FoxNews.com Thursday. “They didn’t speak out when George Bush was being portrayed as a murderer. To become relevant again, they need to become more of an honest broker and not have contrived anger.”

Stockman told the news outlet that the NAACP would better serve its constituents by focusing on ways to decrease unemployment among the black community.

The lawmaker also chided the national NAACP for not speaking out against a July incident in Gulfport, Fla., when three black teens beat up a fellow white student on a school bus.

“It’s really patently false that they’re angry at this, but not angry at other issues,” he said. “There has to be some consistency.”

Stockman told FoxNews.com he thinks it’s unlikely federal officials will investigate the matter.

“We can’t get the Justice Department to look at Benghazi, so it would be ironic that the Justice Department would investigate a clown,” he said. “They should focus on their members' needs rather than theatrics.”

On Wednesday, the conservative lawmaker rebuked critics of the rodeo clown, Tuffy Gessling, accusing liberals of “want[ing] to crush dissent by isolating and polarizing anyone who questions Obama.”

“Liberals want to bronco-bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if it’s speech they don’t agree with,” the lawmaker said. “Disagreeing with speech is one thing. Banning it and ordering citizens into re-education classes for mocking a liberal leader is another.”

Gessling later downplayed the incident, telling digitalBURG, a student-run news service from the University of Central Missouri, that “nothing racist was ever implied.”

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Sean Lengell

Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner