Sesame Street asks Obama campaign to take down attack ad featuring Big Bird

Sesame Street has asked President Obama's campaign to take down its latest attack ad against Mitt Romney, which features footage of Big Bird.



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

The Obama campaign said it would review the request. "We've received and will review their concerns," said an Obama campaign official.

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Sesame Street later amended its statement to ask both the Obama campaign and Mitt Romney's campaign to remove all characters and trademarks from their campaign ads.

Big Bird first entered the 2012 presidential race when Romney at last week’s first debate said he would cut funding for PBS.

“I like PBS. I love Big Bird. Actually, I like you, too,” Romney said to debate moderator Jim Lehrer, the host of PBS's "NewsHour." “But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."

Romney’s remarks caused a frenzy on the social media website Twitter and led to a cameo by Big Bird on "Saturday Night Live."

Obama has repeatedly criticized and mocked Romney for the attack on Big Bird, a strategy that culminated in the ad the Obama campaign released on Tuesday.

The ad compares Big Bird, whom Romney mentioned during last Wednesday's presidential debate, 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. "Big, yellow, a menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about, it's Sesame Street."

At a campaign speech in Iowa on Tuesday Romney said Obama was trying to move the focus away from more serious topics.

"These are tough times, with real serious issues. So you have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about Big Bird," Romney said at the campaign event. "I actually think we have to have a president who talks about saving the American people."

— Amie Parnes contributed

— This story was first posted at 11:28 a.m. and last updated at 4:58 p.m.

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