Sesame Street Asks Obama to Take Down Big Bird Ad

6:45 PM, Oct 9, 2012   |    comments
Big Bird and other Sesame Street puppet characters pose next to temporary street sign November 9, 2009 at West 64th Street and Broadway in New York on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the broadcast of the children's television show. The sign is located across the street from Sesame Workshop's corporate headquarters which will launch the 40th season of Sesame Street on PBS on November 10. (Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
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USA TODAY - The Sesame Street people have asked the Obama campaign to take down an ad featuring Big Bird.

"Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," said the organization in a statement. "We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down."

The Obama campaign -- which is only running the ad on cable outlets anyway -- said it would take the request under advisement.

The ad in question mocks Romney's pledge to cut the Public Broadcasting Service -- even though he likes Sesame Street's Big Bird character -- by comparing the childhood icon to corporate malefactors.

Says the narrator: "Big ... Yellow ... A menace to our economy ... Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about, it's Sesame Street."

Also from the ad: "Mitt Romney -- taking on our enemies, no matter where they nest."

In releasing the ad, the Obama campaign that "even on issues as seemingly simple as 8-foot tall talking birds and early childhood education, Mitt Romney's rhetoric is out of touch with the facts."

Romney cites PBS as one of a series of cuts he would make to the federal budget, a list that also includes Obama's health care law.

Said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg: "Four years ago, President Obama said that if you don't have a record to run on, 'you make a big election about small things.' With 23 million people struggling for work, incomes falling, and gas prices soaring, Americans deserve more from their president."

The Republican National Committee responded by releasing a graphic featuring another Sesame Street character, the vampire The Count.

It's designed to show "President Obama's complete lack of positive message or vision coming out of last Wednesday's debate," the RNC said. "After failing to lay out a plan for his second term -- let alone defend his first term -- in last week's debate, all the president has been talking about recently to distract from his poor performance is Big Bird and Elmo."

PBS cuts would not kill Big Bird or any of his Sesame Street neighbors, by the way. Sherrie Westin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Sesame Workshop, told CNN that it "receives very, very little funding from PBS."

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