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


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

    Mr. Rpmney was wrong, period. He thought he was very funny by using Big Bird in his continuing message that he will cut PBS funding. He giggled at the prospect. That tells me that he knows nothing of the value of PBS and the need to bring educational programming to smaller communities which have PBS stations.

    Wake up America! Those who support this idea have not considered the fact that non-profits may not become involved in politics.To use Big Bird without permission was wrong. To use Big Bird in a political statement was wrong. But then neither Mr. Romney nor his campaign staff seem to understand much about non-profits. what they do, and who they benefit. PBS brings programming to small venues as well as big venues. Those reality TV shows are not broadcast on PBS. WE are all thankful for that.

    October 9, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. skewed

    It isn't the tacitc that is troubling, it is Romney that is troubling. All those lies and he made one honest statement: he'd cut big bird. Once he announces his specifics, people don't like it so much. This is his first attempt at honesty and this is how it goes. Look forward to more obfuscation and lies.

    October 9, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Nathan

    Romney was asked to give some specifics on why he would cut and he said the he would cut anything that wasn't worth borrowing from china to keep(which was a very effective answer). One example was public funding for PBS. He never suggested that simply cutting this funding would solve all our problems – he simply used it as one example.

    October 9, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. teb0504

    Some of the comments on here are really stupid!! First off Romney didn't say he was definately cutting PBS. He gave examples of things that should be considered. Big Bird makes big bucks – why does my tax money have to fund him?

    October 9, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. Jim Peters

    First, get the message right. It is not Big Bird, but the way Romney attacked Public Broadcasting and Jim Lehrer. Do we really want a boss that has compassion for the bottom line only. If nothing else, being so blunt to pink slip someone in front of millions clearly underscores his lack of sensitivity, empathy and understanding of others. He would make a terrible president.

    October 9, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. jim

    Romney is going to create more jobs by firing people. Public brodcasting is pennys compared to the big picture. I'm an independent and there is no way I can vote for this guy.

    October 9, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. Yonni

    What troubling is that amoral man seeking the highest office in the land, if he succeed there are at least other 15 Romanys running for the same office because have the money, the time and the connection what will stop them.

    October 9, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. John

    I was surprised to see Romney tell the debate moderator that he would fire him if he is elected. I shouldn't be surprised but I was. The reason Romney is trying to eliminate PBS is not the money spent subsidizing Sesame Street but to eliminate the unbiased news reporting that is offered through PBS. PBS would not be targeted if they were giving Romney the biased reporting that he receives from Fox News. May be he feels that the Sesame Street characters are too "Muppety" or he is miffed by the portrayal of his ilk on "Upstairs Downstairs". Please feel free to blame Obama for Bush's creation of the deficit and describe him as "uppity".

    October 9, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Lean6

    Just like Mitt saying that thanking the troops for their service would be akin to thanking a cow for milk. The guy just doesn't get it.

    October 9, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Romney World Here We Come

    pc: Big Bird alone makes more than enough to fund public broadcasting so why do the taxpayers have to give more than a dollar per person in taxes to public broadcasting? That is more funding than is received by all of science and the arts put together.

    Golly, why can't we just take every penny that the government receives and just funnel every bit of it into building up the military and policing the rest of the world? We need that money for war, war, war........ and tax breaks for millionaires.

    Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead. Who cares about the risks? There's jobs for everyone in the military. We need to do us some more nation building. Willard Mitt Romney waits for no one. Death will not have to come before he receives his own planet. He will be the greatest Mormon that ever lived. He's claiming the planet Earth and becoming a god right here. You can make this happen.

    Think about it people. Your tax dollars going to fund Romney's delusions of grandeur and elevate his place in his cult for all eternity.

    October 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Dave

    Romney opened himself up to the Big Bird "tactic" – YOU WERE THE ONE WHO MENTIONED HIM!

    Mitt Romney, in fact, was the ONLY PERSON who mentioned Big Bird at the debate.

    It can, should and will be used against you, sir.

    October 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. twophad

    You know, I don't think the Democrats put Big Bird out there–Mitt did. I get incredibly tired of hearing him say stupid things (stupid on more than one front: not only does public broadcasting use an incredibly small percentage of the federal budget, but Sesame Street is largely independently-funded), and then making a big poor-me whine because people remember them! He thought it a clever thing to say at the time, wasn't. Put on your Big Boy Garments and deal with it, Willard!

    October 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Vic of New York

    I'll take Big Bird over 16 unnecessary Carriers any day. It's public broadcasting that provides the only viable alternative to the Corporate Big-dog driven interests that are funding "Snake Oil" Romney. My biggest fear is the totalitarian Right-Wing society these wacko jobs are looking to establish in America!

    October 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Nick

    To those criticizing Romney's foreign policy experience, please tell us what great foreign policy experience candidate Obama had? Actually, what experience did Obama have period?

    October 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. MrBeenThere

    Mitts own Religion tells him it's OK to Lie....... Look it up...... I'd post the links but the Moderator never approves them.....

    October 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Nicko

    ending subsidies to big oil, save 4 billion. ending public broadcasting, save 8 million. So now Fox News jumps on the spin bandwagon, says Sesame Street tries to indoctrine kids to become commies. Now come on, people, we're smarter than that. It's just more fear-mongering at itsfinest

    October 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. jwknights

    Hmmmmmm, I bet Big Bird taste like Chicken!

    October 9, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. vemaseku

    That was not a good statement on the part of Romney .It was not funny.

    October 9, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Joel

    I find your lies even more troubling, Gov. Romney.

    October 9, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Roger Lemire

    Romney, the French want to know when you are going to give back the millions you took from them...the taxpayers here want to see what happen to the millions you cuffed from the olympics....and hey when are you going to put out your TAXES? too many foreign countries just don't want to deal with this guy. We will be back in the Bush Crisis Mode...back to war and Romneys' son and grandchildren will be back in France.

    October 9, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Mike

    Here we are talking about Big Bird when we have so many other "real" important things to discuss.
    Obama will do anything to deflect attention from his record.
    Romney makes one little comment about Big Bird and all Obama and his cronies can do is use it as a talking point until we're sick of it just so he doensn't have to talk about the economy.
    The economy. You know the one. That one that stinks. The one that Obama's policies have failed to fix.
    Romney MAY not be the answer but Obama has proven without a doubt that he certainly IS not the answer.

    October 9, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. steve

    once again..say what you will..but when the smoke clears..and ALL the mudslinging is OVER..IT WILL BE OBAMA WHO IS OUR PRESIDENT FOR A FOURTH TERM!!! THANK GOODNESS.

    October 9, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. allens

    and yet more americans are voting for romney after the debates. i gues thiws proves several things:
    1: many american voters are idiots and pay attention to sound bites instead of substance
    2: most americans do not vote for who is best for our country, just who is running in their party
    3: politicians always lie, but romney opened up the floodgates on this election. most of what he says are lies (i wonder if mormons believe in hell?)
    4: it is over for the gop for allowing this trash to run

    October 9, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. Steve

    Come on Gov. Romney. Lay off public assistance. Without government funded TV who would educate our government supported children?

    October 9, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. JustMe

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

    Oh give me a break. The focus isn't Big Bird. The focus is that one, you're not taking on Wall Street, but allowing them to have free reign and two, cutting PBS funding what do squat to improve the deficit and if you're serious about cutting the deficit you have to be willing to step to the plate and raise taxes on the wealthiest in this country as well as corporations and two stop getting into and funding unnecessary wars.

    October 9, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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