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New Obama ad stars Big Bird alongside Bernie Madoff

President Obama's reelection campaign is up with a new ad hitting Mitt Romney over his comments about Big Bird at last week's debate.

The ad features images of notorious corporate villains Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay and suggests that Romney sees Big Bird as the biggest villain of all.

"Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about; it’s Sesame Street,” the narrator says.

Obama has offered a similar line on the campaign trail, and his campaign clearly sees Romney's threat to pull federal funding for public broadcasting as some sort of gaffe.

It's not clear how much money is behind the ad; ads like this tend to be created for news media buzz rather than big advertising buys. The Obama campaign said only that the ad will air on national broadcasts and cable.

The Romney campaign responded by pointing to Obama's 2008 comment in which he said that a politician who is on the defensive makes "a big election about small things."

The GOP is also out with an info-graphic noting how many times Obama has mentioned Sesame Street in recent days, compared to how many times he has mentioned Libya (hint: zero).

Update 12:49 p.m.: The Sesame Workshop is requesting that the ad be taken down, citing its nonpartisan status.

Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down. 

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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