GOP primaries

GOP primaries

OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away

TOP STORY: Campaigns fly the coop

Who would have guessed Big Bird would be THE story out of the first presidential debate?

President Obama has hammered Mitt Romney on the issue repeatedly since last week’s showdown, but it was an Obama campaign ad Tuesday that brought the issue to the head.

In the attack ad, Team Obama hit Romney on his comment that he would defund PBS, comparing Big Bird to corporate titans prosecuted for financial misdeeds.

"Bernie Madoff. Ken Lay. Dennis Kozlowski: Criminals. Gluttons of greed. And the evil genius who towered over them?" a voice-over says as a silhouette of Big Bird moves on screen.

The Sesame Street Workshop, the group behind the popular children’s show, asked the Obama campaign to take the ad down:

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

Team Obama said it is considering the request. But Obama continued to mention Big Bird, bringing him up in an afternoon campaign stop in Ohio.

Romney, meanwhile, slammed Obama for talking about Big Bird.

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OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Romney on the attack

TOP STORY: Romney gets aggressive

Mitt Romney launched an aggressive new attack on President Obama on Monday, hitting the president for describing the recent events in the Middle East as "bumps in the road."

"These are not bumps in the road, these are human lives," Romney told a crowd in Pueblo, Colo. "These are developments we don't want to see."

Obama made the comments on “60 Minutes” during a larger discussion of whether recent events had given him any pause in his support for governments that had formed following the Arab Spring.

"I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights, a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance," Obama said. "But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam."

Romney’s attacks come as his campaign said it would debut a new "change in message" that looked not just to criticize Obama's record, but to paint a contrast for voters of the next four years.

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Rick Santorum backs Bruning in Nebraska

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum endorsed Nebraska state Attorney General Jon Bruning, the GOP front-runner in the race to replace retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).

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