A punching bag bearing the image of President Barack Obama with a black eye has been removed from a Republican Party tent at an Indiana state fair after some attendees complained.
The Star-Press reports that the 54-inch (137 cm)-tall 'Bop Obama' punching bag was hanging in the Republican Party tent at the Delaware County Fair in Muncie, Indiana until Wednesday. After receiving complaints from members of the public, including people attending Democrat Night, county GOP spokesman Tom Bennington announced that the bag had been removed.
"It was what I consider mildly offensive," Bennington conceded.
"It's gone. It won't be there tonight," he told the Star-Press. That meant that the punching bag would not be on display at Thursday's Republican Night.
The Star-Press also reports that Brad Oliver, a Republican candidate for Indiana's 34th House District, had asked for the punching bag to be taken down. But his request was overruled, and Oliver and his supporters left the tent.
Bennington asserted that there was no racial element to the punching bag.
"My contention is that it's not racial," he told the Star-Press. "Obama is somebody we want to defeat. It was all meant in fun. But in reality I consider it a little offensive myself."
"I'm retired military and I respect the commander-in-chief," he added.
"We had a lot of people having a good time with it," he continued. "We had a couple who didn't like it."
The 'Bop Obama' punching bag is widely available for purchase on various online stores. It is selling for less than $15 on Amazon.com.