President Obama’s campaign deployed Big Bird, the beloved “Sesame Street” icon, in a new TV ad Tuesday mocking Mitt Romney for saying he would cut funding for public broadcasting if elected.
Romney, in outlining ways he would cut federal spending, said, “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS,” adding, “I like PBS; I love Big Bird.”
“I feel like I’m famous now. I was walking down the street the other day and felt like everyone recognized me,” Big Bird said.
At rallies and campaign appearances every day since the debate, Obama has used Romney’s remark and referenced other “Sesame Street” characters to mock his opponent in a way audiences find funny and relatable.
“He said he’d bring down our deficit by going after what has been the biggest driver of our debt and deficits over the last decade — public television, PBS,” Obama told people at a fundraiser Monday in San Francisco. “Elmo has been seen in a white Suburban. He’s driving for the border. Oscar is hiding out in his trash can. We’re cracking down on them.”
The satirical Obama campaign ad, set to air on national broadcast and cable stations, echoes that theme. The ad shows images of convicted financiers including Bernie Madoff and Enron’s Ken Lay, and suggests Romney believes Big Bird is responsible for their crimes.
“Big, yellow, a menace to our economy,” the ad says. “Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street.”
While Romney’s comment drew criticism from PBS the day after the debate, the Sesame Workshop, which supports “Sesame Street,” demanded that Obama’s campaign remove the ad.