NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama deployed Big Bird in a new campaign ad Tuesday mocking Mitt Romney's vow to end federal funding for public broadcasting. Romney's campaign dismissed it as an example of Obama being small-minded while the foundation behind Big Bird's program, "Sesame Street," asked that the ad be taken down.
The satirical spot, set to air on national broadcast and cable TV stations, shows images of convicted financiers, including Bernie Madoff and Enron's Ken Lay, and suggests Romney thinks Big Bird is behind their crimes.
"Only one man has the guts to speak his name," the ad says.
Romney said in last week's nationally televised debate with Obama that he liked Big Bird but would, if elected, end federal subsidies for the Public Broadcasting Service to help balance the budget. PBS airs "Sesame Street."
Obama seized on that comment after the debate and has used it to poke at Romney, and Tuesday's ad marked his re-election campaign's latest effort to make fun of his Republican rival.
But Sesame Workshop, which supports "Sesame Street," didn't see it as a laughing matter. It asked for the ad to be pulled.
"Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," the organization said in a terse, two-sentence statement. "We have approved no campaign ads and, as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down."
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said the campaign was reviewing Sesame Workshop's concerns.
Romney's campaign countered that the ad shows Obama is focusing on inconsequential matters rather than urgent issues voters care about, like the economy and unemployment.
"Right now you've got 23 million Americans struggling to find work," spokesman Kevin Madden told reporters Tuesday. "I just find it troubling that the president's message, the president's focus 28 days from Election Day, is Big Bird."
PBS receives a portion of its funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives an annual appropriation from Congress. In 2012, CPB received $445 million in federal funding. PBS said in a news release after last week's presidential debate that public broadcasting receives about one one-hundredth of 1 percent of the federal budget.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
29 photos Launch gallery
1. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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2. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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3. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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4. Jus haaaanngin out
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5. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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6. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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7. new new
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8. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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9. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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10. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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12. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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13. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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14. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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15. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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16. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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17. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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18. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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19. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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21. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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22. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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23. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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24. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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25. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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26. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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27. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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28. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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29. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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