Obama impersonator removed from stage at GOP forum
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Barack Obama impersonator was ushered off the stage after he mocked the Republican presidential hopefuls and joked about the real president's biracial roots to a room full of conservative activists Saturday.
The Republican Leadership Conference turned the podium over to impersonator Reggie Brown, who drew raucous applause from the GOP's supporters when he projected lewd photos of Rep. Anthony Weiner, the New York Democrat who just resigned after the furor over his sexually charged online dalliances with a former porn actress and other women.
Brown later played up the mass exodus of advisers to candidate Newt Gingrich's campaign and said Gingrich's supporters "are dropping faster than Anthony Weiner's pants."
The audience grew more uncomfortable when Brown turned to the candidates who are looking to make Obama a one-term president.
The impersonator took a shot at former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, saying Pawlenty missed the conference because "he's having his foot surgically removed from his mouth."
"Don't worry: it's covered under Obamneycare ... along with spinal transplants," Brown said.
Pawlenty has struggled this week after previewing his criticism of former Gov. Mitt Romney's health care overhaul in Massachusetts that was a model for Democrats' national plan. Pawlenty first called it "Obamneycare," a hybrid of "Romneycare" and "Obamacare."
But when given the opportunity to use the term while sharing the stage with Romney during a debate Monday night in New Hampshire, he balked.
Pawlenty later said it was a mistake not to offer a stronger criticism.
The impersonator joked about Romney's Mormon faith and about polygamy, and Rep. Michele Bachmann's tea party support.
Organizers then cut off Brown's microphone and turned on music. He was shown off the stage.
The jokes came a day after Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour urged Republicans not to be distracted from a message honed solely on jobs and the economy.
"If we let people in the Obama campaign take America's eye off the ball, then that's their only chance to win," Barbour said.
Brown opened his routine with jokes about Obama's biography as the son of a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya.
"My mother loved a black man and, no, she was not a Kardashian," the actor said, referring to the reality television family. Khloe Kardashian is married to basketball player Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers. Other family members have had black romantic interests on the E! television series.
Brown also joked about rumors of the president's birthplace. Obama was born in Hawaii, "or as the tea partyers call it, Kenya," he said.
Brown highlighted photographs of past presidents such as George W. Bush at the beginning and end of their terms.
He showed a picture of George Washington at the start of his term and then projected an image of former first lady Barbara Bush as though it was the nation's first president as he left office.
Brown then projected a picture of Obama at the start of his term, followed by a picture of Fred Sanford of "Sanford and Son" as a representation of what Obama would look like when he leaves office.
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