Big Bird wants out of politics.
Credits: File Photo/REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC -- Elmo isn't tickled, he's ticked, and Sesame Street is asking President Barack Obama to keep his campaign out of their 'hood.
And Obama's Republican rival Mitt Romney is "scratching his head" over Obama's focus on Big Bird and Elmo on the campaign trail, not the struggling economy.
Obama has been leaning on Sesame Street's iconic characters ever since he was whupped by Romney during last week's debate, referencing them repeatedly on the stump to mock Romney for vowing to cut the $445 million government subsidy to PBS, the public broadcaster that distributes Sesame Street, as a way of balancing the country's books.
On Tuesday, the Obama campaign released a new television ad set to air nationally on comedy channels that features Big Bird, along side other corporate thieves and raiders.The spot mocks Romney for getting tough on Big Bird, which the ad calls "Big "¦ Yellow "¦ A menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about, it's Sesame Street."
But the Sesame Workshop, which now produces the decades-old children's show -- it is only distributed on PBS -- is asking Obama's campaign to take it down.
In a terse statement, the organization said it is a "non-partisan, non-profit organization" that does not endorse candidates "or participate in political campaigns.
"We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down," the statement reads.
The Obama campaign has said it will consider Sesame Workshop's concerns.
Meanwhile, Romney himself took a shot at Obama for talking about Big Bird, and not his record on the economy.
"These are tough times with real serious issues," Romney told supporters at a campaign stop in Van Meter, Iowa Tuesday. "So you have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird.
"I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs and saving our future and also saving the family farm."
Romney has said repeatedly throughout this campaign that while he personally likes Big Bird, he would cut funding to PBS as one of several cuts to help eliminate the US deficit, which has been over $1 trillion for the past four years.
The vice-presidential candidates square off in their only debate during this campaign in Danville, KY, Thursday.