GOP's Obama Impersonator Stunned by Backlash

Audience loved his performance, says Reggie Brown
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2011 3:20 AM CDT
Obama impersonator Reggie Brown performs at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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(Newser) – The comedian hired to impersonate President Obama at the Republican Leadership Conference says he's surprised by the stinging backlash to his over-the-top performance. “I don’t think I crossed any sort of lines," with his racially tinged jokes, Reggie Brown tells the Washington Post, claiming he would never do anything "to offend the president on that level, let alone disrespect myself.” The audience, he says, "loved my material. I had some organizers when I left the stage say ‘Great job.'"

The Republicans who hired Brown aren't coming to his defense. "Had I been in the room I would have pulled him sooner," said the RLC's executive director. “We have zero tolerance for racially insensitive jokes. As soon as I realized what was going on, I rushed backstage and had him pulled." Brown's audience kept laughing through his race-related jokes but the boos began, and he was ushered offstage, soon after he started making fun of Republican presidential hopefuls, Wonkette notes.

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