He’s every kid’s favorite bird. Big Bird has been a staple on American television since 1969. So it was no surprise that many Americans became upset when Mitt Romney made public his plan to fire the icon.
We met at the aptly named Sesame Street Restaurant and Big Bird laid out the ground rules. I can’t ask him about his parents and he wants me to read a book to some kids after the interview.
What followed was one of the most shocking yet meaningful interviews I’ve ever participated in.
First I want to thank you for agreeing to do this interview on such short notice. And I want to let you know what an honor it is to have this opportunity.
No problem Mark! I’m always ready to talk to someone who isn’t talking about firing me or cooking me for Thanksgiving dinner. [Laughs] Just joking.
Well, let’s just jump right into it then. What was your first reaction to Mitt Romney saying he would stop funding PBS and eliminate you from television if elected?
Well, I didn’t watch the debate. I was busy reading books to some kids. What happened was I got a call from Grover telling me to turn the TV on because someone was talking about me. So I did. Then I cried.
Do you think Mitt Romney is a bully?
Well, I do think it’s a strange coincidence that October just happens to be Bullying Prevention Month. Honestly, I just think it’s sad that he’d rather get rid of Sesame Street than get rid of money bullies on Wall Street.
Do you have any ill will for Mr. Romney after hearing what he said?
I don’t have ill will for anyone Mark. I’m…..
[At this point in the interview, Oscar the Grouch stormed in to the restaurant.]
Are you [expletive] kidding me Big Bird! Tell the world what a [expletive] that [expletive] Romney is! You’ve spent your whole [expletive] life making kid’s lives better and this [expletive] says he’s going to take you out! Give me a [expletive] break!
Oscar, if you could calm down for a minute I could…..
Shut the [expletive] up! Who the [expletive] are you anyway!? What magazine do you work for!? [expletive][expletive] Weekly!?
Oscar, I understand you’re really mad about this but if you could just…..
Just what!? Just [expletive] what!? You expect me to sit down and tell you what a nice guy that [expletive] Romney is!? He straight up said he’s going to kill us Mark! He’s probably going to drive here in a [expletive] limo and strap Barkley to the top of it and laugh while he hands us our severance letters that just say “[expletive] you!” It’s the same thing as murdering us! You realize we’re a puppet show right!? We can’t exactly exist outside of a [expletive] studio!
[At this point, Big Bird tries to calm Oscar down but Oscar shoves Big Bird into a pile of numbers. Big Bird dusts himself off and sits back down. Oscar continues.]
I live in a [expletive] trash can Mark! And I love it! I’ll be fine! But nobody messes with my family! And these [expletive] are my family! We’ve been through some serious [expletive] together and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some [expletive] bag come in here and shut us down!
[At this point, Snuffleupagus comes in and sits on Oscar, forcing him to stop his tirade. Elmo comes in and gives his point of view.]
Ha ha! Hi Mark! It’s me Elmo!
Elmo. What an honor. What are your plans for after the show if Romney gets his way?
Ha ha! Hi Mark! It’s me Elmo!
[Cookie Monster enters the room, crumbs falling from his mouth.]
Cookie Monster! What an honor. What do you think about all of this?
There is very little evidence that Romney’s strategy of attempting to use the current economic climate against Obama is working, at least not to the degree that Mr. Romney had hoped. Polls clearly display that voters are growing somewhat more optimistic, and are beginning to trust the president with regard to jobs and the economy.
Now that the race for president is in its final stages, Mr. Romney’s campaign appears to be changing course, withdrawing from its plan of making this election a referendum on President Obama’s jobs record. Instead, Mr. Romney intends to hit Sesame Street. And me no understand this policy.