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Sesame Workshop To Obama Campaign: Leave Big Bird Out Of It

In its attempt to turn the tables on Mitt Romney following the Republican presidential nominee's big win in the first presidential debate, President Obama's campaign has sought to enlist Big Bird.

The president has repeatedly reminded supporters at rallies that Romney, during the debate, specifically cited Big Bird when he promised to defund the Public Broadcasting Service to reduce federal deficits.

Adding to its mockery of Romney, the Obama campaign cut an ad featuring the feathery yellow giant avian.

But watch it while you can. On Tuesday, Sesame Workshop asked the Obama campaign to take down the ad, essentially saying it didn't have a bird in this fight. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) Said the news release:

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

While the president and his campaign have used Big Bird to ridicule Romney, Republicans tried to deflect such criticism back onto the president.

They alleged Obama's use of Big Bird against Romney proved the president couldn't fight the Republican standard-bearer on big issues and so was resorting to the trivial. In an official campaign statement, Amanda Henneberg, a Romney spokeswoman, said:

"The choice in this election is becoming more clear each day. Four years ago, President Obama said that if you don't have a record to run on, 'you make a big election about small things.' With 23 million people struggling for work, incomes falling, and gas prices soaring, Americans deserve more from their president."

As we reported in a prior post:

"Federal funding for public television — and public radio — comes via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a nonprofit, private organization chartered by Congress. About 72 percent of the CPB funding goes directly to local TV and radio stations that distribute programs, such as Sesame Street."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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