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. Yonni

    Romney doesn't have sentimental value he thinks about everything in terms of its monetary value (profit is his deriving force). His attack on the big bird shows that he is still the person who worship the green, to be a leader of the people it takes passion and compassion

    October 9, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Gino

    Willard is troubling.

    October 9, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. pc

    Big Bird makes enough money to fund all of public broadcasting. So why does more than a dollar come from every citizen to fund it? That is more than all of the sciences and arts receive in funding put together.

    October 9, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Jackson

    Romney is not doing anything differently than he is claiming Obama is doing. Romney is not running on his own record. In fact, he is distancing himself as much as possible from his record. All the things he supported as Governor he is against as a Presidential candidate. He loved it when it was Romneycare, but hates it as Obamacare. He tried, in the first debate to say that Massachusetts was #1 in education under his administration. The fact is that Massachusetts was #1 *BEFORE* he took office, and, when he took office, he wanted to cut education funding (look it up).

    Romney has guaranteed 12 million jobs within 4 years, but won't say how. When asked about cuts to the budget, he says he'll tell you *after* he is elected????? THAT is not leadership. That is playing both ends against the middle, and trying not to say anything.

    Romney's one of the biggest jokes ever to run for office.

    October 9, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Matt

    Obama's comments in 2008 are a spot-on description of what Obama people are doing now. Big Bird? Really? It's one thing for the Governor to mention the character as an EXAMPLE of funding cuts. It's another entirely for the president to spend money on an entire ad.

    Pay no attention to the Iranian president rattling his sabre at Israel. Pay no attention to all the people still out of work. Pay no attention to our national debt vs. our (technically negative) growth rate. Big Bird will go away if Romney is elected!!! (Gasp!)

    October 9, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. gordyb

    When your party leader makes taking out big bird his platform its his fault it is a topic at all. Romney has no else to blame but himself for another gaff and his lack of connection with real people, the ones he wants to govern no, rule.

    October 9, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. cjb

    Get a clue – I lost my job, my home, my retirement account, and lived on food stamps in BO's term. There are 47 million Americans suffering like me and you are only concerned about an organization that gets federal funding going under? The president of PBS makes $626,000 a YEAR people. Big Bird lives in a big glass house (bldg). We need to take steps to cut all unnecessary funding and this is definitely one of those. Big Bird will survive. No wonder everyone says that Reps are more charitable – the Dems pick an inanimate object to save instead of their neighbor. Nice.

    October 9, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. ghostriter

    RS, laughingstock and others, it's because republicans are politicians and conservatives aren't too bright.

    Republicans don't want to stop spending. They want to stop spending on what they don't like and those who don't support them. NPR, Planned Parenthood, etc. But they love businesses, Wall St and the military. That is why they supported without a second thought bank bail outs, but opposed GM bailouts (well, that and Obama suggested GM bailout, which was an automatic "NO" from republicans). That's why they fought like heck for Bush tax cuts, but hardly a peep from them on the payroll tax cut. Which is why they talk about cutting spending, yet the house leader fought furiously for money for jet engines no one wanted, but were made in his district.

    Both sides spend money. The question is where do you want it spent, education or the military.

    October 9, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. lgortman

    Obama hasnt done a thing these past 3 1/2 years! ZERO, ZILCH, NOTHING! I am amazed at the Americam people who are blinded! Take away all of the rumors and look at the facts in black and white!

    October 9, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. BADGUY

    Mitt STARTED his tour as the Massachusetts Governor with an approval rating of 65%. He ENDED it with an approval rating of 35%. THINK about it!

    October 9, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Tom

    The USA does not need a president as dumb as Willard "Mitt" Romney!

    October 9, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    Why do Repubs. love WAR so much but hate PBS so much ?

    October 9, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. M

    If Romney's campaign finds this "troubling", then why did Romney choose to bring it up? Did he actually think that he could say that he'd axe Sesame Street–a show that several generations have fond memories of– on national television and not get a response? This is a problem of Romney's own making. If he can't handle the consequences, then he should have never made that comment in the first place.

    October 9, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Tony

    I vote for Big Bird. Big Bird is a bird of his words. Romney never keeps his words. Romney wants to cut funding for Big Bird, then he is upset when Big Bird fights back. Romney can dish it out, but he can't take it.

    Going against the poor and the defenseless is Romney's modus operandi. Sure, he now says that he is completely wrong about the 47% of Americans who don't pay income tax, but he will still cut government programs for them. Romney will cut funding for everything except defense, and he will start with Big Bird.

    October 9, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Dave T

    Given that the Pentagon uses the yearly amount given to PBS every 6 hours. Big Bird isn't the reason why we are in trouble.

    October 9, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. maggie

    OMG! As soon as he said he would fire Big Bird I knew he had stepped in it big time. What he was doing was aimed at little children! Just like the late Jerry Falwell and the Teletubbies, neither of these guys gets it! And telling the moderator to his face that he would also be fired - – what a sensitive, humane touch that was! PBS gets bupkis from the govmint. It is largely financed by private donations and yes there are already commercials on PBS! Where has this guy been hiding for decades? Is this the best he can do?

    October 9, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |

    Big Bird get real check this out

    Hillary Clinton laughs about provoking war with Iran (GOOGLE IT)

    October 9, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Rznkain

    Seems people wanna defend PBS like Obama and his blind followers they do not seem to have a issue that the President of PBS makes almost 700,000 a year.

    October 9, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. ghostriter

    Matt, please lose the holier than thou routine. Romney is making ads right now over comments.

    Unemployment's dropping and your "technical" negative growth are recycled talking points. You need to get the upgraded set. And send them to Romney. He obviously didn't get the e-mails.

    October 9, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Pander Bear

    Non Profit Educational Television = Big Bird
    For Profit "Educational" Television = Honey Boo Boo

    Any questions?

    October 9, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. DK

    We all know what really needs to go in this country. A fake news network that has organized protests against the government, (how many rallies did they organize past 4 years? other 'network' did that). Romney took this stance because PBS is an independant outlet..and the propaganda machine can't have an independant voice. The very fact that a candidate this shallow, pushed by an extreme ideology has progressed this far is insanity. This network has convinced Christians that a candidate that thinks Christianity is an abomination is really a good Christian. Feeding the poor, helping the sick, are handouts. Every other outlet for information is 'liberal' and will lie to them. You can't have a discussion, or work together when one group is convinced only they know the real truth and everybody else is in a vast conspiracy. It's time to pass a media honesty law in this country before it's to late.

    October 9, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I like Big Bird!

    October 9, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. tom

    At the end of the day, the American people can't trust Obama. He can't tell the truth, can't keep his campaign promises, can't stimulate the economy, and can't lead. Seems all he can do is fund raise with Hollywood elites.
    American needs a leader! I am HOPING for a CHANGE in November. Vote Romney if you want America to be great again.

    October 9, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Alex

    If the Big Bird comments are so troubling, then why are they focusing on it? The point that is being made is that going after PBS is not going to fix the Republican deficit. Sounds like Republicans are trying to shift the focus to a puppet rather than the real problem – fakes like Romney who say one thing and do another and ultimately harm our middle-class.

    October 9, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. wtf

    Har har har
    Har dee har har
    Mitt's goose is cooked

    Oops, I guess I phrased that inelegantly

    October 9, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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