Big Bird has become a big deal in the presidential campaign. During last week's debate, Mitt Romney said he would cut funding to PBS, and his comments have turned Big Bird into the most talked-about fictional character in the country.
"It's me Big Bird," said the character with a smile on TV. Who knew our biggest yellow friend would weigh-in so heavily in this year's election?
"I like PBS, I like Big Bird, actually like you too, but I'm not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it," said Romney
And again Thursday night in Miami, a week after the debate, President Obama couldn't resist ruffling a few more feathers.
"When Governor Romney says he can cut taxes, increase military spending, close the deficit, all by getting rid of Planned Parenthood and Big Bird," said Obama.
Romney's camp responded with this statement:
"President Obama is obsessed with talking about a puppet rather than presenting a vision for a stronger foreign policy and a vibrant economy," said Ryan Williams, a campaign spokesperson.
Ever since the first presidential debate, almost anywhere you look, there are angry birds: Big Bird lookalikes, like a pair we saw in St. Pete last Friday at a Mitt Romney event.
"We're having a great time, we're getting a lot of waves, and honks on the interstate," said Scott Crider Thursday, as his, "Big Bird On The Roof Tour", rolled through Tampa. Crider started the group Dogs Against Romney back in 2007, and has developed quite a following.
Crider is now lampooning Romney's prior admission he'd crated his own dog on the roof of their station wagon years ago as they went on vacation.
"People see it, they recognize it and they say, what's that about?," said Crider. "And it gives us an opportunity to tell the story that, Mitt's being really vague about what it is he's gonna cut."
"I think Big Bird is one of our first, great educators," said Megan Allen, who is a former Florida Teacher of the year in 2010 and a 5th grade teacher at Shaw Elementary School in Hillsborough County. "I think PBS has done so many great things for education, which begins in the home, so I feel Big Bird is important to our education system."
"Big Bird is big bucks! He's an icon!," said J.B. Mason, who owns and runs Features Costumes & Beads in Tampa.
He said Big Bird has quickly become this Halloween's hottest costume -- but good luck finding one. We went to three of the biggest costume retailers in Tampa Bay: Party City, Spirit Halloween and Features and all three don't have Big Bird. Not because he's so hot, but because he's so expensive to license.
"The costume people who make the costumes, they would have to buy the rights to the costume in order to mass produce it so we can get our hands on it," said Mason.
But that would be too expensive. Still he said, the Obama and Romney masks are selling well.
"Politically correct, I'd say they're about even," he joked. "They're neck and neck right now!"
By the way, that, "Big Bird On The Roof Tour", is hitting cities all over Florida. Next stop were Miami, West Palm Beach, then Orlando.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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