Internauts and U.S. voters quickly took to Google in response to Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s attack on Sesame Street character Big Bird during the presidential debate Wednesday evening.
Romney’s comments about Big Bird were a part of a larger answer to moderator Jim Lehrer, in which he said he’d cut federal funding to PBS. Romney’s view is that he does not think that the network is a justifiable taxpayer expense.
The reaction from debate viewers caused the yellow-feathered American icon to rank favorably in top rising search terms on Google, placing fourth only to “Simpson Bowles”, “Dodd Frank” and “Who is winning the debate”.
Simpson Bowles was in reference to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, an unelected bipartisan committee created by President Obama in 2010 to tackle America’s long-term fiscal problems.
Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles were co-chairs and presidential appointments to the commission.
Simpson is also a board member of the Commission on Presidential Debates, the organization in charge of the presidential debates.
Dodd-Frank was in reference to the financial regulatory bill, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by Obama in 2010.
The four rising search terms were measured between 8:45pm EDT and 10:45pm EDT.
Around 10:30pm EDT, near the end of the debate, Google estimated that there were over 1 million searches for the phrase, “Presidential debate,” beating out pop artist Nicki Minaj, who had over 100,000 searches.