Team Romney word on the street for Big Bird tactics: 'Troubling'
October 9th, 2012
11:27 AM ET
2 years ago

Team Romney word on the street for Big Bird tactics: 'Troubling'

Editor's note: Part of an occasional series on the #homestretch to Election Day with GOP nominee Mitt Romney

En route Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - With 28 days to go, can you tell us how to get away from Sesame Street?

It doesn't take a campaign report from Kermit the Frog to figure out Mitt Romney woke up to the equivalent of an Oscar the Grouch style ad from the Obama campaign this morning.

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Mocking the GOP nominee for threatening to take the axe to federal funding for public broadcasting at last week's presidential debate, the spot's narrator intones breathlessly: "Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about, it's Sesame Street."

Step aside Big Labor and Big Oil. Is Big Bird this year's October Surprise? Elmo... call your agent. He's not tickled.

En route to a stop in Iowa where Romney was to detail his plan for American farmers, senior campaign adviser Kevin Madden was of course asked about poultry, of the large and yellow kind.

"I just find it troubling that the president's message, the president's focus, 28 days before Election Day is Big Bird," Madden said.

"The governor is going to focus acutely on jobs and the economy and what he can do to create a better, more prosperous future for the American people," he added.

Still, Romney has yet to be pressed on how eliminating funding for PBS would have much of an effect on the deficit.

"You would need to cut PBS more than 1,000 times to fill the hole in Romney's debate promises," an Obama campaign email pointed out, announcing its new spot.

Both the Republican National Committee and the Romney campaign blasted out emails to reporters, with a reminder of what then Senator Obama said during his speech to the Democratic convention in 2008.

"If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things," Obama said.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer speaks live to Mitt Romney Tuesday on "The Situation Room" at 6 p.m. ET

MORE FROM THE CNN POLITICAL TICKER:

Big Bird the focus in sarcastic new Obama ad

Romney revives 8% unemployment critique at rainy rally

Pastor at Ryan event once said Romney is not a Christian


Filed under: 2012 • Homestretch • Mitt Romney
soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. jim

    Agreed. How is the US going to improve with the useless politicians we have to chose from? I real sad!!

    October 9, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. AB

    The budget for PBS is completely insignificant to the recovery of this country and Romney is the one that brought up killing the funding for it. Now his campaign is complaining that this is off topic? I think it is a perfect example of exactly how misguided and ineffective Romney's austerity actions would be.

    October 9, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. jwknights

    Hmmmmmmmmmm, I bet Big Bird taste like Chicken!

    October 9, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Reason

    Actually Romney is R-O-M-N-E-Y! And if you can't see what Romney's focus is when he discussed PBS...I dunno...I'd rather have a strong military than a fat BIG BIRD! Honestly!

    October 9, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  5. zippy

    PBS is not going to be eliminated.
    Public funding for it will be.
    If you like PBS, give them some cash during pledge week.
    If you don't like PBS, don't give them money.

    October 9, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. e320dq

    Just another liberal catchphrase that lacks substance – nothing to see here

    October 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. sbuler

    The first example he can come with is to cut funding for PBS. That is not a small issue in a big issue campaign because it speaks volumes to his priorities and overall lack of vision.

    October 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Mr Howdy Doody

    HONESTLY ROMNEY WAS SO PETTY MAN!!! I mean how petty can you be? PBS USED TO BE, AND SOMETIMES STILL IS THE EPITOME OF GOOD MEDIA....a media THAT WAS MEANT TO TEACH..PURE AND SIMPLE!!!! TO TELL US THE REALITY OF THE WORLD WITHOUT BIAS....and this guy chooses to step on it in front of a live audience..and PBS MODERATOR..

    October 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Joe

    16 members of the Special Forces security team at our Embassy in Libya - a high-risk location - were cut just weeks before the attack at Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 others. According to the unit's commander, the diplomatic staff were told "they just had to make do with less" despite expressing their legitimate concerns for their safety.

    And Obama's cracking jokes about saving Big Bird?

    It was funny how the Democrats ripped on Clint Eastwood for talking to an empty chair. It's amazing Clint knew Mitt Romney was going to experience talking to an empty chair. I don't see much HOPE for Obama to CHANGE and create jobs, jobs, jobs. More empty chairs and empty promises to come.

    October 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. susan porretta

    Wow, thoae people who support Romney really scare me. Do you have any idea that Romney was at the heart of the Wall Street meltdown in 2008. If you don't dig a little deeper. Now you think electiing him is gonna help a nation. The only people Romney's gonna help are his cronies on Wall Street. He's running his campaign the same way he runs his business–lying and bullying.

    October 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. hemplover

    Republicans can't open their mouths without excluding someone. Whether it is women, watchers of PBS, American Indians or poor people, theirs is the party of the .1 percent. Their only line is their bottom line, and don't you forget it. Romney would just as soon fire you as look at you. He is even more out of touch with the problems of the common person than GW was. And by the way, Mitt, there is no such thing as "clean coal." If coal-fired power plants are shutting down, that is good news for America.

    October 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Charlie Sheen

    Duh, winning!

    Obama just worked mittens

    No debating that.

    CS

    October 9, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Reason

    While the budget for PBS and NPR is small in the grand scheme of things, add all of these "types" of government funded items up...you have to cut from somewhere!

    October 9, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    This is it in a nutshell:

    "a reminder of what then Senator Obama said during his speech to the Democratic convention in 2008.
    ________________________________________
    "If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things," Obama said.'
    ____________________________
    This is Obama talking about Obama.

    Obama can't address the big issues because of his record in office, so he jumps on Big Bird, to divert attention from the real issues. JUST LIKE HE SAID IN 2008.

    But since we are speaking of Big Bird, why are we subsidizing PBS? If Big Bird is so popular, any number of networks, cable included, would be willing to pick up the program. But if notthat popular, why are we still paying for it?

    PBS is just another government program that once started, gets funding through infinity, without question.

    October 9, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. enoughsaid

    I don't think this is about Big Bird as much as it is about Mitt Romney thinking that cutting funding for public television is actually a way to make any kind of significant and meaningful dent in the deficit – especially at a time when he talks about military spending. Perspective is needed here. Obama is mocking Romney's statements about cutting the funding to highlight the absolute inanity of Romney thinking that cutting public television and increasing military spending is the way to tackle the deficit.

    October 9, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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