For the past 60 years, 89-year-old Charlie Brotman has been the official announcer for every single president’s inauguration parade — until this year.
Local news station WJLA reported over the weekend that Brotman was ousted from his role as parade MC in favor of Steve Ray, a freelance announcer who volunteered for Trump’s campaign in 2016.
Appearing on CNN Monday, Brotman told host Carol Costello that he was shocked and distraught when he first learned that he would not be this year’s parade announcer.
“I looked at at my email, then I got the shock of my life,” he told CNN. “I felt like Muhammad Ali had hit me in the stomach.”
Brotman went on to tell Costello that, while he believed Ray would do an excellent job in his place, he was “really disappointed because I thought I would be the announcer.”
“When I read the email, I thought I was going to commit suicide,” he said. “It was really terrible… I’ve been doing it for 60 years, and no one has asked me if I was a Democrat, Republican, or Independent.”
Watch Brotman’s full interview with CNN below.