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Big Bird Pulled Into Politics (Again) Big Bird Pulled Into Politics (Again)

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Big Bird Pulled Into Politics (Again)

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This Aug. 30, 2009 file photo shows Big Bird, of the children's television show Sesame Street, in Los Angeles. Big Bird is endangered. Jim Lehrer lost control. And Mitt Romney crushed President Barack Obama. Those were the judgments rendered across Twitter and Facebook Wednesday during the first debate of the 2012 presidential contest. While millions turned on their televisions to watch the 90-minute showdown, a smaller but highly engaged subset took to social networks to discuss and score the debate as it unspooled in real time.(AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Romney, Obama, Reid, Boehner, whatever. You know who's really dominating political talk today? Big Bird.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney professed his love of the giant yellow guy during last night's debate, after saying he'd cut federal funding from PBS as part of his plan to tackle the deficit. Today, President Obama joked at a Denver rally that "Thank goodness someone is finally getting tough on Big Bird."

This isn't the first time Big Bird has been pulled into the political fray. Why, it was just last month when Reps. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif, and Ed Markey, D-Mass., at an event decrying automatic cuts to the National Institutes of Health, disagreed over whether to cook Big Bird's goose (Can a bird have a goose? Anyway....).

If the sequester actually happens, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports PBS, would face an 8.2 percent cut to its federally budgeted $445 million. That means about $36 million in cuts, according to the latest White House Office of Management and Budget report. And while Sesame Street receives much of its money from corporate sponsors rather than from PBS, the show "is dependent on PBS to distribute our commercial-free educational programming to all children in the United States," reads a Sesame Workshop statement released today:

At a time when improvements in school readiness are recognized as being much needed for a significant number of America's preschoolers, PBS's ability to connect Big Bird and Friends to these children is essential.  We highly value that connection.  Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization. We do not comment on political campaigns, but we're happy we can all agree that everyone likes Big Bird.

So, how does Big Bird feel about all this talk?

You have to admit -- he's kinda hilarious.

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