Wednesday night's presidential debate sparked anger online when Mitt Romney said if elected president he would give beloved "Sesame Street" character, Big Bird, the pink slip.
Romney made the comment Wednesday night during the first presidential debate in Denver responding to a question from debate host and PBS anchor Jim Lehrer on what candidates would do to cut waste out of the federal budget, Yahoo! news said.
Cutting the deficit, said Romney, can be done by cutting taxes, cutting spending and growing the economy.
Romney proposed eliminating all federal funding for PBS, which, to Lehrer's surprise, included the debate host himself.
"I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS," Romney said. "I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually I like you, too."
Romney said the programs are examples of wasteful government spending -- and don't pass his funding litmus test.
Save Big Bird
As you could imagine, within minutes, Twitter lit up in protest.
After Romney's remarks, users were posting 17,000 tweets per minute mentioning Big Bird, Twitter said.
Pretty soon Sesame friends Oscar the Grouch and Bert and Ernie joined Big Bird as a major Twitter trend, Mercury News said. Others shared a doctored photo showing the cherished children's character posing with a cardboard sign pleading for work.
Not only that, just as the empty chair started its own Twitter account after Clint Eastwood's routine at the RNC, a spoof Twitter account, (at)firedbigbird, quickly won thousands of followers, along with another Big Bird account with a "@Bigbird" handle.
This isn't the only time PBS funding has been targeted. According to CNN, last year, Big Bird survived a brush with budget-death when Republicans in the House, voted to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,which helps fund PBS, only to see it added back in to the final government funding deal.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization making a meaningful difference in children's lives around the world, the show's website says. Founded in 1968, the Workshop changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street.
Today, the Workshop continues to innovate on behalf of children in 120 countries, endeavors recognized for their deep understanding of children's developmental needs and the most effective ways to address them.
As a nonprofit, Sesame Workshop puts the proceeds it receives from sales of Sesame Street, DragonTales and Sagwa products right back into its educational projects for children around the world, the site said.
Romney and Obama debate again on October 16 in Hempstead, New York, and on October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida. Mr Biden and Mr Ryan have their lone debate on October 11 in Danville, Kentucky, NBC reported.