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. Tim

    I think The Big Bird topic is a good example of the tough choices Obama refuses to make. I think every American has bought a Sesame Street Animal for a little one or gone to a show. Point being is that they could survive just fine on their own, no need to be supported by Tax payer dollars. It is not a popular topic but one that needs to be evaluated, how many has Obama refused to address? how many tax dollars are needlessly wasted?

    October 9, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Mark

    According to some of the posters here, you would think our society absolutely could not educate it's children nor provide a worthwhile childhood to anyone without Sesame Street, Big Bird, Elmo etc..... While cutting PBS will not make the deficit go away, it IS reducing what we spend in which every little bit helps. We need to revisit welfare reform (Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress did a good job of that) but we need to go further in eliminating waste and fraud there. We need to trim down the Defense budget so that those guys and gals learn to use the money they get more effectively. All programs HAVE to be on the table and everyone might as well just resign themselves to the fact we cannot afford to live the way we have. Has nothing to do with wealthy this or that, Big Oil, Big this or that...it has to do with what we take in versus what we spend. I cannot see why the Federal Govt should be taxing people at ridiculous rates! It's insane and all it really does is place power in the hands of those who redistribute money to those who will vote for them. Both parties are guilty and the whole system needs to change in order for us to be prosperous again. We have just gone too far as a nation. Romney isn't the bad guy for proposing this idea and neither am I.

    October 9, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. 90909090

    Jim lehr was in front of him..Romney said he not going to borrow from china for sake of things like PBS. point is we don't have the money...so we need to fix our deficit problem and our economy. this is a joke that libs and dems turning big bird as as the holy grail to Obama's election bid....desperate

    October 9, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. FLUFFY

    Romney did not say he was going to cut Big Bird. He was giving an example of cuts he could possibly make and why. Dems can twist anything!

    October 9, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. 1twinsfan

    Day one of a Mitt Romney presidency – fire Big Bird. And things aren't looking too good over at the Electric Co., either.

    October 9, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Jim

    The Obamination team can't run on a heinous 4 years, so they have to get the lefties out with Big Bird? Truly sad.

    October 9, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. B

    I think this has been so overblown. Gov. Romney was saying that we are in "great amount of debt" in this country and so cuts will be tough to take in order to pay our bills. It is no different than an individual or a family trying to be free of debt, hard cuts have to be made (i.e. cable tv, smart phones, out to dinner, etc.). We as a nation are in the same situation and we shouldn't be borrowing money from China in order to get the frills. At least someone is willing to address in detail how bad our debt is and what the thought process will be to get out of it. My kids and I loved Big Bird and I love PBS but it is a luxury and not a necessity. If our children learned the difference than maybe we wouldn't have so much personal debt as well in this nation.

    October 9, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. James S.

    Can CNN please focus on some substance in this campaign? We face some real challenges in this nation, and all we get are days and days of coverage about comments, taken out of context, that Governor Romney made. The media's role is to help the populace make an informed decision in this election and, in that role, CNN is failing miserably. No wonder a recent Gallup poll showed that 60% of Americans no longer trust the media. Come on, CNN, get your act together.

    October 9, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Marc in Texas

    Why don't ONE of you right wing dittoheads take a look at the federal budget sometime? Start with military spending. Be sure to add the money for servicing the debt created by George Bush to fight an unnecessary war ON CREDIT. Then add the money Republicans cost the nation with their FICTIONAL version of trickle-down that destroyed the economy. Add the debt created when the Bush tax cuts threw the budget out of balance when the GOP approved more and more spending. If any of the right wing pinheads who believe Romney's LIES (captured on video, walked back BY HIS OWN STAFF, for goodness' sake!) had a brain, he wouldn't have a chance. And Romney did single out PBS – if idiots want to believe that the economy is wrecked because of PBS, they DESERVE the steaming pile of manure they gobble up at the trough of Rupert Murrdoch. There is no honor or glory in ignorance and stupidity.

    October 9, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. Paul

    Soon Romney will flip flop and say he did not say he wanted to cut funding to PBS!

    October 9, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Roger Lemire

    To think to GOP picked Romney because they thought he was the best chance for a win.......I think we shall have the Dems in office for a long time. I might as well go back and register as a democrat because the GOP continously picks LOSERS!!

    October 9, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. sarge

    Romney afraid of Big Bird?

    October 9, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. cul8rv8

    "But they love businesses"
    "opposed GM bailouts"

    What? Since when has GM not been a business? Guess I'm confused.

    And to say that it's a choice of education vs military, I never realized that shows like The Red Green Show, Monty Python, and Lawrence Welk concerts were educational... Not saying that there is no educational content on PBS, just saying that there are shows other than education there. And beyond that, if the funding that PBS gets from the federal government is so small that it won't make a difference in the budget, then why should we pay it anyways? Like ATM fees, they are usually small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but who doesn't try to avoid them?

    October 9, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Arch

    well, it says much when a campaign needs to balance its books by firing big bird. romney has no ideas and just empty rhetoric. nope, he's not for me. i'll take brains and obama any time over the pandering simp that is romney and all his faithful.

    October 9, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Dejavu65

    The truth is we ALL don't really know what Romney will do but support the super Rich like his buddy Donald Trump and Wall st with less deregulations which got us in this recession in the first place.... Do you notice how all the super super rich people say its important for Romney to win.....Truth is this race would not even be close if Obama was white if you really think about what Romney REALLY stands for.......1) Only candidate in over 40 yrs that will not show past 10 tax returns(because he has avoided taxes, offshore acct, etc). 2) He will not extend middle class tax cuts after they expire in 2013 but will extend Bush era tax cuts for the rich. 3) He degraded and looks down upon 47% of the country when talking to other rich folks, thats how he really feels about us. 4) He was a part of Bain capital that outsourced jobs. Yes look at the documents he was still CEO. 5) He blatantly lies and flip flops without even changing his face with no remorse 6) His has not really showed his policies because he can't there is no realistic way he can protect the middle class and fulfill all those blank promises. 6) He basically wants to go to war with Iran and possibly Russian and tax the middle class more by spending billions or trillions more for wars.....If any other candidate in the history of the US stood on these position they would be down by at least 30 points in all polls...I can't believe people will actually want to give up such a percentage of there paycheck each month to this man and the GOP!....Everything this man has preached the past 18 months until last Weds will destroy the middle class WAKE UP!!

    October 9, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. 90909090

    James S. is 1000% correct. CNN you should be holding the candidates accountable...directly...you have lost your sole...ur just like msnbc or fox....just with lower ratings

    October 9, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. OHOHOZO

    The country economic, unemployment, debts ... are staging on the head of American while our president and his team trying to care about the "big . Bird". Is this making any sense to us.
    In the others sides, couple hundred millions wasted in PBS, in Solana, in Volt plant,...... adding up billion with China interest. Wake up folks, saving.... saving..... is the way to go.

    October 9, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. Ready

    Time for Big Bird to get a job and get off the govt dole...I'm tired of my tax dollars support him and his flock.

    October 9, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. DJB

    It is troubling that the Leader of the Free World is reduced to ridicule as the method of winning an election. What is wrong with him? He should be proudly running on his outstanding record of prosperity and renewed optimism. Instead he relies on crticizing an analog to a cartoon character. No substance. No ideas. Horrible record.
    Send Obama home! Vote!

    October 9, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. lisasc

    Sen Schumer to the Dems, Abandon the Simpson-Bowles tax model.

    October 9, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. NYKnows

    As always, Romney reveals his true nature in his "throwaway" comments. $10,000 bets with Perry? Nope. Not going to worry about the 47% who "rely on government" – yeah, like Romney himself who relied on a $10 million dollar federal bailout for Bain, something the taxpayer never should have had to foot except for his poor business skills. Now he's planning on cutting PBS spending – to benefit himself by trying to close down one of the few remaining outlets for the truth. We the people will let him know on November 6th that Romney's complete lack of regard for any other human being is NOT what we ever need in a president – the one good thing that Bush taught us is how to recognize and vote against men who want to be president for themselves, NOT for the country.

    October 9, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Al

    Most of our debt is borrowed against ourselves to pay for things like medicare. A very small portion of it comes from China. So to say China is the cause of our debt problems is ignorant.

    October 9, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Reason

    Time to pluck that bird! The left wing nuts at NPR must have been laughing for years that they get taxpayer money and then slam the politics of 50% of this country. And that 50% probably account for more than 50% of NPR's funding.

    October 9, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. madelefant

    Jim Acosta's post here has less content of import than the big bird issue he decries. What a waste.

    October 9, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. MaryM

    Yes, Mitt Romney thinks 47% of Americas are parasites. watch the video, Romney in his own words

    October 9, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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