'Big Bird' pushed into US political spotlight

Posted at 10/06/2012 1:08 PM | Updated as of 10/06/2012 1:08 PM

REDWOOD CITY, California - It wasn't long ago when Big Bird first learned about death, when the adults on Sesame Street revealed that shopkeeper Mr. Hooper has died.

On Wednesday night, the larger than life avian was forced to face his mortality once again when Mitt Romney threatened to cut funding to PBS if he becomes president.

“I’m going to stop subsidy to PBS. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. But I’m not going to keep spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay us,” Romney said during the first prime time presidential debate.

That ruffled a lot of feathers on social media, immediately sparking 17,000 tweets per minute.

From a Democrat on Twitter who said she’s got his back to Big Bird himself sticking it to the man and to puppets coming to his defense, the internet was flooded with viral Sesame Street image mash ups. Mashable put it succinctly: you don’t mess with the Big Bird.

No less than the CEO of PBS was on national television a day after the debates, posing the question, what did the world’s most famous feathered friend ever do to Mitt Romney?

“We’re America’s biggest classroom. We taught children across the country, in every home. So the fact that we’re in this debate, this is not about the budget it has to be about politics,” said CEO Paula Kerger.

And it has always been about politics

Never mind that Big Bird didn’t even get to see the debates because it was past his bed time said PBS. Critics say candidates will say anything to get on your consciousness as Election Day draws near.

They just have to keep learning the hard way that it won’t work all the time.