Romney plucks Big Bird attack
October 9th, 2012
03:44 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney plucks Big Bird attack

Van Meter, Iowa (CNN) - For the first time in days, Mitt Romney did not invoke last week's presidential debate during his remarks at an Iowa campaign stop.

But it was clear he was continuing to sharpen his criticisms of his opponent, Barack Obama.

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Standing in a dusty wind that coated supporters' hair and clothing, Romney immediately attacked the president for what he called Obama's misguided focus on a straw man – or a large feathered bird, in this case – instead of talking about the economic struggles plaguing Americans.

"These are tough times with real serious issues, so you have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird," Romney said, to the crowd's delight. "I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs and saving our future."

Democrats have seized on Romney's promise during Wednesday's debate to cut federal funding to PBS, and have even deployed a series of Big Bird look-alikes to Romney events all week.

On Tuesday the activist dressed as Big Bird stood off a highway half a mile away from the Iowa farm where Romney focused largely on regional issues.

Romney accused Obama of not promoting agricultural trade and failing to lead Congress to agreement on a farm bill last month.

"That's something I will devote my time to, to make sure that we get that bill passed so farmers know what they can expect," he said. "There are big differences between the president and me. He has no plan for rural America, no plan for agriculture, no plan for getting people back to work. And I do."

Although Romney did not specifically discuss his widely-praised debate appearance, his son, Josh, offered a stinging critique of Obama's performance in the match-up.

He jokingly said the Romney sons took credit for their father's success in the debate, explaining that when they were younger, the boys taught their father "how to debate an obstinate child."

"We were the ones, as kids, that kept saying the same thing over and over, and we'd say the same lie over and over, and my dad learned then not to believe it," Josh Romney said. "So, while we didn't go to any of the formal debate preparation, we did the real hard stuff."

Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith called Romney's remarks laughable.

"If anyone should be scratching their heads, it's the American people when Mitt Romney says that he'll reduce the deficit and pay for $5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans by getting rid of PBS and Big Bird, which make up 1/10,000th of the federal budget. That's not a serious deficit reduction plan- it's a joke," Smith said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Debate • Iowa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. rosco

    How can anyone at this point have any respect left for the demos esprcially reid, pelosi and obummer they have just made our goverment the joke of the planet

    October 9, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Recon

    Yes, Liz. Big Bird is the plan. It's the only plan. It's the entirety of the plan. Thanks so much for weighing in to enlighten America about – The Plan.

    October 9, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. lnd72

    The President must be feeling the pressure if he is now hanging his campaign strategy on the Big Bird comment.

    October 9, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. ITGUY

    Yawn....none of your comments mean a thing.

    October 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. mary

    Romney called his sons liar in from of the entire nation & theya re proud of it. I wonder who taught htem how to lie. Like father like sons; I suppose.

    October 9, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. ll

    Mitt Romney = War, Deficits, Seniors without care, Women taken back 200 years, and a halt to our college grads.

    October 9, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. MG

    I am so sick of Mitt Romney lies, it sickens me to see his face each day. I am so ready to Vote!

    October 9, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. DENNA

    Mittens, you started this Big Bird crap. I would rather vote for Big Bird than vote for you. Why don't YOU come clean about your financial plan for America and stop wasting time on this nonsense?

    October 9, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Dave in Arizona

    "I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs and saving our future."

    Funny comment since PBS funding is actually about the education of the American people, and thus its future, and also about spending and jobs. If it had nothing to do with these things then why would Romney have even mentioned it during the economic portion of the debates? Now it seems like they're trying to make us all forget the connection.

    October 9, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. CanadaONE

    Regarding the GOP decision to KILL Big Bird

    we hear there is a big protest at Romeny's headquaters in Mass

    tell us when and where – we will be there!

    October 9, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    "Save our future?" Yeah MittWitt's gonna save it for himself and his buddies, if elected all those 47% will find themselves eating cat food. Enjoy dummies. I hear some of it tastes just like chicken and if you pour enough BBQ sauce on it, it tastes just like BBQ. He is a disgrace, and so are his whole family. Not deserving of any respect and even if elected (accidently) will recieve none. To lead you have to have people either willing or stupid enough to follow.

    October 9, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Philipe

    "So you have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird. I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs and saving our future and also saving the family farm." – Mitt Romney

    October 9, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. DENNA

    Romney's "Five Brothers" sons are cowards. They should each be serving America to thank her for the blessed life that was provided them because they were lucky enough to be born here.

    October 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. The REAL Truth...

    "I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs and saving our future."
    Well that rules out Willard and Lyin Ryan as VP doesn't it. They could care less about "saving" anyone except the 1%, and they already sent the good manufacturing jobs to China. Thanks Bain.

    October 9, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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