Mitt Romney was greeted in Iowa by protest sign carrying versions Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Bert and Ernie affiliated with the group Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
Here is the video via The Des Moines Register:
The protesters sang the Sesame Street theme song, called on Romney to release his tax returns, talked about the 47%, and called companies like Romney’s Bain Capital the real parasites. Romney supporters haplessly tried to drown out the protesters and hold up Romney signs to block the cameras.
Romney’s comments about Big Bird and cutting off the federal subsidy to PBS have caused an uproar, and have become the unexpected takeaway moment from the first presidential debate.
The Obama campaign picked up the ball and ran with it with a new campaign ad featuring Romney and Big Bird.
The Sesame Workshop has stayed out of the political fray, but since they are on PBS, it is common sense where their sympathies reside.
Romney’s Big Bird comments have caught on because the reinforce the perception held by many voters that Romney is a heartless corporate raider who is only looking at the bottom. Those inside the Beltway don’t seem to get the fact that Obama campaign is using the Big Bird comments to define Romney. Big Bird isn’t a new direction for the campaign. It is the latest chapter in Obama’s narrative about Romney’s character, or lack of.
The fact that Mitt Romney sees no value beyond monetary in spending taxpayer money on PBS, reinforces the idea that Romney can’t grasp the concept of the public good. To the Republican nominee, PBS is nothing more than an asset to be sold off to the private sector.
Mitt Romney has a Big Bird problem, and the perception of his heartlessness towards children along with the protests won’t be going away any time soon.