He's Big. He's a Bird. And he's now a political football.
The Obama campaign has put up a new web ad using Big Bird to attack Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for threatening to kill funding for Sesame Street and PBS during last week's debate.
Oh, yes they did!
"Big. Yellow. A menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about, it's Sesame Street," intones the narrator in the spot, which features a clip of the Muppet saying, "It's me, Big Bird."
Big Bird's forced cameo didn't go over so well with the folks behind the legendary children's educational show.
"Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," read a statement from Seasme Street's producers. "We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down."
As of this writing, the ad is still online.
No word from the president's camp yet whether he will honor that request, though a campaign official tells E! News they are reviewing Sesame Street's concerns.
But it's worth noting that the program's executive vice president, Sherrie Westin, said on Sesame Street's blog that the show "would not exist were it not for PBS and its local stations," and that PBS takes up just 0.014 percent of the federal budget.