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. Lean6

    Newt Gingrich on debating Romney: “You cannot debate somebody who is dishonest. You just can’t,” he said. “The people say I’m a good debater. I can’t debate somebody who won’t tell the truth.”

    Gingrich said he admittedly backed down at Thursday’s debate. He went back and watched the last two debates and was not happy with either one of them.

    “A couple scenes you can go back and replay, I’m staring in amazement. I know what he’s saying is untrue. And I also know that in that particular audience it would not have worked to take him head on,” Gingrich said.

    Gingrich said there was “no practical way” to deal with somebody who is willing to say something “totally dishonest.”

    October 9, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Art

    Does Big Bird have U.S. citizenship? Is he (she?) at least 35 years old? I'm thinking WRITE-IN.....

    October 9, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. New Yorkers against Trump

    Romney is a real creep. He will destroy the middle class if he's elected. Vote Obama! and, CNN stop making the last debate such a big deal. Romney stinks no matter how Obama does in the debates. Romney is bad for democracy, women, the middle income folks, and more. CNN stop slanting your stories towards Romney.

    October 9, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Norm

    I knew this subject will send feathers flying everywhere, but like Obama says, it would take the extermination of the entire Big Bird "species" to make a small dent in the budget deficit.

    October 9, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. lesliee

    The "I won't borrow from China to pay for Big Bird" statement was a truly stupid thing to say. It has no real connection to the budget or deficit. Once again, the Romster shows he has no idea who the American people are. Romney voters: can you seriously want this clown?

    October 9, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. pcalif

    What's troubling is Romney's ridiculous foreign policy speeches which are so high schoolish. In front of aircraft carriers and high school cadets?? Romney has no record on foreign policy and when he opens his mouth, he sounds like an idiot.

    October 9, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. guest

    in addition.. do you know government funded to have Sesame Street in Pakistan ?? Just google "sesame street government funding" for a BIG suprise

    October 9, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. barbarianofgor

    Obama spent most of his term, like Clinton, trying to fill the hole the Republicans dug. Dubya did more than Reagan and his daddy combined in that regards...something he actually accomplished...

    So, yeah, Romney "Won" the debate because the boring host didn't control it and seemed to pick the most similar, boring questions and the public has no idea what a debate is thanks to Talk Radio and tabloid tv...

    But it uncovered Romney has NOTHING but platitudes and empty promises and attacks on Obama. His one and only concrete promise was somehow to "Save" money by cutting PBS funding... literally a "Drop in the bucket"...

    If this fool liar elitist is elected it'll be a disaster for everyone not in the .01%.

    October 9, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Joe68

    I think the next debate should be Romney vs. Big Bird. Each of them should speak why the American people should give or not give them a job.

    October 9, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. G

    Time for the defense contractors to get a job and get off the govt dole...I'm tired of my tax dollars supporting death.

    Time for home owners to get a job and get off the govt dole...I'm tired of my tax dollars subsidizing their mortgages.

    Time for Big Pharma to get a job and get off the govt dole...I'm tired of my tax dollars supporting NIH research.

    October 9, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. DustyOnes

    If Big Bird is so popular and good....then why can't he get a slot on NBC, CBS, FOX or ABC?

    October 9, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. ghostriter

    cjb, if you lost your job, your home and are on food stamps, republicans say that it is your own fault. And, they would like to take away your stamps and whatever other aid you may be getting.

    You are a part of the 47% Romney isn't concerned with. You are the conservatives we laugh at who vote against their own well being. And you don't even know it yet.

    October 9, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Alex

    Obama uses Big Bird analogies because that's the educational level of the majority of his supporters, he's a leader for the ignorant. Even so, still would never vote for Romney...

    October 9, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. JerseyGirl


    What's really troubling is Willard is so out of touch, that he thinks firing Big Bird and cutting people's hair with scissors is no big deal.
    I have to agree with you. The guy is clueless and now pretends he cares about 100% of the people. Come on, this guy is pulling the wool over the people's eyes. You can tell by all of the a sudden the polls are changing. Willard is lying, denying and alibing, to quote the Philadelphia mayor yesterday. The president's actions backfired because he wanted to stay above the fray and not get into the weeds with Willard. But he and Biden are going to have to, to make the average American see lyin' Ryan & Vulture Romney for what they truly are.

    October 9, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. sgurdog

    Sesame Street is educational and it's proof that Romney would cut from these funds rather than raise taxes on a rich man. Keep pounding home that theme Obama.

    October 9, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. t.marino

    Just wait folks for what Mr. Romney and his sidekick Eddie Munster has in mind that will be axed. All you folks who are the 47% and they claim are moochers get ready to have your Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment, Medicaid taken away or drastically reduced under Romney. You will also see your taxes increased dramatically to pay for his tax cuts for his wealthy friends. There will be no EPA, no FDA, no banking regulations, no health insurance reform. Hope you all have savings to live on because you are going to need it. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    October 9, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. PBS supporter

    Big Bird is a BIG story. Cutting PBS is like taking early education away from many disadvantaged children. Many parents, daycares, and the like use PBS as a learning tool for preschoolers. And THAT'S NOT A BAD THING! Television, if utilized correctly, can educate children. Plus, this may be the only access poor, disadvantage children have to any type of education. Also, let's not forget that Romney has also declined the Nickelodeon KIds Pick a President segmant, which can make politics and government fun for kids.

    October 9, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. G

    The sale of one ICBM missle alone to a foreign nation makes more than enough to fund defense contractors so why do the taxpayers have to give more than a dollar per person in taxes to defense contractors? That is more funding than is received by all of science and the arts put together.

    October 9, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Harsh Times

    Sesame Street earns over $50MM annually in revenues yet the Left wants to subsidize them? Just because it won't solve the deficit problem on its own doesn't mean that they shouldn't be cut from the teat. It is ridiculous to continue down the same old path when that path leads you to ruin.

    October 9, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. ghostriter

    And Romney snubbed Nickelodeon. I guess since kids don't pay taxes, aren't working and can't vote, Romney has no use for them Except as photo ops.

    October 9, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. DJ Reality

    Why give PBS funding? Why give oil companies tax breaks? Big Bird is non-profit. Big oil record profits. I can justify one but, not big oil.

    October 9, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    I say take the tiny amount out of the defense spending-it is so "HUGE" I'm sure it will prevent Romney from declaring war on Iran and Syria-Why is it the "quality of life" things that the Republicans want to stop-education, health care etc just to give handouts to the rich

    October 9, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. fakingtheo

    I find it funny how it looks like Obama is giving Romny advice.

    October 9, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. swagger

    Obama has that swagger!

    October 9, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. teb0504

    Agree – why do taxpayers have to fund PBS?!?! Do we want to reduce the deficit? It's not going to happen w/o sacrifice – Big Bird can sacrifice also & give up some profit!!!!

    October 9, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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