Psaki: ‘There’s been a strong grassroots outcry over the attacks on Big Bird’


The Obama campaign defended Tuesday a new campaign ad featuring Big Bird, saying it is a response to a “grassroots outcry.”

The campaign released an ad Tuesday about Big Bird, which was subsequently panned by people on the right, on the left, in the mainstream media, and even at “Sesame Street” itself, which told the campaign to suspend the ad.

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said during a press briefing aboard Air Force One that the campaign had received the request and was “reviewing it.”

“I will say it doesn’t change the fact that there’s only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane,” Psaki continued.

Psaki reminded reporters again of the campaign’s “love for Big Bird and Elmo,” then defended the concept of the ad.

“This election is about serious issues,” she noted. “That’s what the President talks about every day.  That’s what his focus is on every day.”

She attacked Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s economic policy plan as a “vapid collection of dusting off the Bush playbook,” and his “extreme, out-of-the-mainstream foreign policy positions.”

Given these constraints, Psaki said, “You don’t have a lot to talk about and you’re going to attack us on Big Bird.”

According to Psaki, the ad will run on national cable. Politico reported earlier Tuesday that the ad would be attached to comedy shows.

“There’s been a strong grassroots outcry over the attacks on Big Bird,” Psaki said. “This is something that mothers across the country are alarmed about and we’re tapping into that.”

Following the extended exchange over the Big Bird ad, according to a transcript of the press briefing, a reporter asked for a “gentle segue to North Korea,” and proceeded to ask about the country’s nuclear missile program.