Big Bird and other Sesame Street puppet characters pose next to temporary street sign November 9, 2009 at West 64th Street and Broadway in New York on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the broadcast of the children's television show. The sign is located across the street from Sesame Workshop's corporate headquarters which will launch the 40th season of Sesame Street on PBS on November 10. (Photo: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Melanie Eversley (On Politics/USA Today)
Who knew Sesame Street's Big Bird would play a role in tonight's presidential debate in Denver?
About 30 minutes into the verbal contest between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the former governor explained that he would cut what he considers non-essential items in the budget, including cuts to PBS, which employs debate moderator Jim Lehrer.
"I'm sorry Jim. I'm gonna stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm gonna stop other things," Romney said. "I like PBS, I like Big Bird, I actually like you too."
At that point, someone in the Twitterverse responded by creating a @FiredBigBird account, which, as of this writing shortly after 10 p.m. ET, had almost 9,900 followers.
"I worked with Big Bird. I served with Big Bird. You, sir, are no Big Bird," The Lance Arthur, @thelancearthur, of San Francisco tweeted.
"Why is there no Muppet-vision way to watch the #debate?" tweeted Ryan Penagos of New York City, also known as, @Agent.M, executive editorial director of Marvel Digital Media Group and Marvel.com.
"Big Bird, you have two minutes for rebuttal," tweeted Ina Fried, @inafried, of San Francisco, the senior editor for a website called All Things Digital.
Facebook users chimed in too, with someone creating a page called "Big Bird for President." As of 10:20 p.m. ET, the page had about 460 "Likes."
"I am in," commented Facebook user Matthew H. Johnson.
"Go Big Bird!," commented Facebook user Brent Rochford.