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Big Bird Backfire

RNC Communications - October 9, 2012

The reviews are in on the Obama campaign’s new Big Bird strategy and it’s not a sunny day on Michigan Avenue.

TV

Chuck Todd: Obama Campaign Can't Seem to Stop Talking About Bad Debate

NBC: Obama Big Bird Ad Example Of "The Absurd Back And Forth"

Twitter

@rickklein so Romney marches toward Benghazi, while the president marches down Sesame Street? abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics

https://twitter.com/rickklein/status/255652429322940416

@ByronYork: RNC: 'Obama has now talked about Sesame Street characters at least 13 times since the debate while he has mentioned Libya…zero times.'

https://twitter.com/ByronYork/status/255645496163569664

@NKingofDC Not a good sign for the Obama campaign that Big Bird has gone from friend to foe in the span of a day.

https://twitter.com/NKingofDC/status/255696844217257984

‏@davidharsanyi Obama is clearly ready to answer that 3am call from the Muppets. #gravitas

https://twitter.com/davidharsanyi/status/255626657845608449

@TerryMoran The Obama Big Bird ad looks like the work of a campaign in panic mode. It's crunch time, when voters get very serious, very smart. So, this?

https://twitter.com/TerryMoran/status/255665350639755265

@samsteinhp Time for the Obama campaign to put in Tebow

https://twitter.com/samsteinhp/status/255660000490426368

Print

CNN, Big Bird Puts His Big Orange Foot Down

This is one angry bird. After President Barack Obama's campaign released a commercial using the Sesame Street character to mock rival Mitt Romney, Big Bird's parents at Sesame Workshop asked the president's team to take it down. "Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," the group wrote. "We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down."

CNN, Team Romney Word On The Street For Big Bird Tactics: 'Troubling'

"I just find it troubling that the president's message, the president's focus, 28 days before Election Day is Big Bird," Madden said. "The governor is going to focus acutely on jobs and the economy and what he can do to create a better, more prosperous future for the American people," he added. Still, Romney has yet to be pressed on how eliminating funding for PBS would have much of an effect on the deficit. "You would need to cut PBS more than 1,000 times to fill the hole in Romney's debate promises," an Obama campaign email pointed out, announcing its new spot. Both the Republican National Committee and the Romney campaign blasted out emails to reporters, with a reminder of what then Senator Obama said during his speech to the Democratic convention in 2008. "If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things," Obama said.

Yahoo, Romney Camp Mocks Obama’s Focus On Big Bird

Mitt Romney's campaign is mocking President Barack Obama's decision to release a campaign ad focused on the Republican candidate's repeated suggestion that Big Bird shouldn't receive public funding.

Kevin Madden, a senior Romney adviser, told reporters on board the candidate's plane Tuesday the campaign isn't taking the Obama's latest offensive seriously. "Right now, you've got 23 million Americans struggling to find work. You've got household incomes going down. You've got a federal deficit, federal debt that's over 16 trillion dollars," Madden said. "I find it troubling that the president's message, the president's focus 28 days out from Election Day is Big Bird."

POLITICO, John McCain Mocks Obama Big Bird Ad

Slamming a new Obama attack ad against Mitt Romney that features Big Bird, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on Tuesday that it shows the president is out of ideas. “It may show a paucity of ideas and ways to criticize Mitt Romney,” McCain said on NBC’s “Today” show when asked about the Big Bird spot. “The fact is the economy is still in very bad shape, and obviously the American people are still in very difficult conditions, and the one thing President Obama can’t run on is his record.”

Miami Herald, RNC Invokes The Count: Obama Mentions Sesame St. 13 Times; Economy+Libya=0

The Republican National Committee is pushing back against President Obama's embrace of the Big Bird flap by quoting.... Obama. "If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things," Obama said in 2008. "And you know what? It's worked before." It might work again. The Obama campaign's production of a Big Bird ad, which is supposed to run on cable, is funny. But it's small-bore stuff (although small-bore stuff can be good when it comes to talking about DC's dysfunction). The RNC has responded with a graphic, featuring County von Count. It notes that in the past few days, Obama has invoked Big Bird 13 times but he has said next to nothing about Libya, where an ambassador was killed in a terrorist attack that his administration at first denied publicly while admitting it privately.

Breitbart, Politico, NBC, ABC, MSNBC Criticize Team Obama's 'Absurd' Big Bird Ad

At the same time Team Obama released a childish ad hitting Mitt Romney for daring to consider removing multimillionaire, one-percenter Big Bird from the federal government welfare rolls, the Romney campaign released a devastating graphic that shows that since his debate debacle, Barack Obama has mention Big Bird and Elmo 13 times but has not mentioned Libya or his plan to fix the economy even once.  A media that is obviously disappointed with Their Precious One's debate performance and recent collapse in the polls, is not at all happy with this silly and stupid Big Bird attack. Politico criticized the ad as small ball, NBC News described it as "absurd,"  and ABC's Rick Klein seems confused by the desperate smallness of it:

POLITICO, Chicago Gets Serious...

...and by serious, we mean not at all serious. The Obama campaign is out this morning with a goofy video of the Big Bird variety, mocking Mitt Romney, as the president has put it, as going easy on Wall Street but heavy on Sesame Street. The campaign is calling this a TV spot, but did not, as officials there usually do, say where it's airing, suggesting this is a video for media and YouTube consumption. As Alex noted yesterday when the Pew poll numbers came out, we've long warned - and been warned - about big swings in surveys in what has been a fairly stable race. But the sampling of surveys out there do suggest a real Romney bounce.

National Journal, Big Bird Featured In New Obama Ad

The Obama campaign is taking silly season in politics to a whole new level in a television ad released on Tuesday featuring the star of last Wednesday’s debate: Big Bird. “Bernie Madoff. Ken Lay. Dennis Kozlowski. Criminals. Gluttons of greed,” a grimacing narrator says. “And the evil genius who towered over them? One man has the guts to speak his name.” “Big Bird,” Mitt Romney is shown saying three separate times. “Big. Yellow. A menace to our economy,” the ad continues. “Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street. … Mitt Romney. Taking on our enemies, no matter where they nest.”

New York Times, Obama Ad Features Someone Big, Yellow and Feathery

If President Obama loses the election next month, his ad makers may have a second career on “The Daily Show.” A new television ad by Mr. Obama’s campaign would fit right in on the sarcasm-laced comedy show. Or it could be an opening skit for “Saturday Night Live.”… The Republican National Committee responded within hours of the ad’s release, but apparently they didn’t think it was funny. In a release to reporters, a spokeswoman for the committee noted that Mr. Obama has mentioned “Big Bird” and Elmo” 13 times since Wednesday’s debate, but said the president has not talked about Libya or the economy.

The Columbus Dispatch, Big Bird Stars In New Obama Ad

Stomped in last week's debate, caught up in an exchange of accusations about lying, and losing ground in the polls, the Obama campaign has resorted to a new adverstising tactic.

Yahoo, New Obama Ad Uses Big Bird To Attack Romney

A week after Big Bird became an unlikely character in the 2012 presidential campaign when Mitt Romney uttered his name in the first debate, the Obama campaign has approved a new ad that uses the "Sesame Street" character to attack the Republican nominee's plan to cut federal funding for PBS… "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,'" Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in an emailed statement to Yahoo News. "With 23 million people struggling for work, incomes falling, and gas prices soaring, Americans deserve more from their president." On the "Today" show, Sen. John McCain—who lost to Obama in 2008—said the ad "may show a paucity of ideas and ways to criticize Mitt Romney."

The Washington Post, Big Bird Nosedive

“Jumped the shark.” “A campaign in panic.” “Lost it.” “Shocking.” These are just as few of the reactions among the media to the latest, dumbest move by the Obama campaign, an ad so trivial and unpresidential it makes one wonder if an epidemic of tone deafness has descended over Chicago… Just the thing to get over an unpresidential, contentless debate performance by the incredible shrinking candidate, huh? The Republican National Committee couldn't resist and won the battle of Sesame Street ads. Almost as intriguing as the lame ad was the near-uniform negative reaction among mainstream reporters and pundits of all stripes.

Firedog Lake, Obama Ad About Big Bird Cannot Find One Prominent Wall Street Criminal Prosecuted By Administration

There’s only one thing that sticks out to me about this ad, though the casual viewer probably won’t notice it. Let’s look at that litany of Wall Street “criminals” and “gluttons of greed,” which later get juxtaposed with Big Bird. You have Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay and Dennis Kozlowski. So two CEOs prosecuted and convicted by George W. Bush’s Justice Department, and Madoff, whose son turned him in before Obama took office, in December 2008, and who pleaded guilty. So the Obama campaign could not fill a list of three Wall Street criminals that the Obama Justice Department actually sent to jail. Heck, they couldn’t fill a list of one!

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