Obama forgets Big Bird attack, pushes ‘Romnesia’

Neil Munro White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama’s novel “Romnesia” call-and-response campaign trail tactic is obscuring his decision to forget about Big Bird.

In numerous speeches since Oct 4, Obama has cited Gov. Mitt Romney’s Oct. 3. promise to end subsidies for Big Bird’s corporate parent.

“He said he’d eliminate funding for public television,” Obama told an audience in Denver, Colo., the day after he lost the first presidential debate to Romney.

Since then, he’s used Big Bird as a laugh-line at more than 10 events, according to a review of transcripts from the White House.

“So for all you moms and kids out there, don’t worry, somebody is finally cracking down on Big Bird — cracking down on him. (Laughter.),” Obama said Oct. 7 at an event in Los Angeles. “Gov. Romney plans to let Wall Street run wild again, but he’s bringing the hammer down on Sesame Street. (Laughter.).”

Big Bird’s last mention was on Oct. 17, when Obama told an audience in Ohio that Romney would fund his tax-cut “by cutting Planned Parenthood and Big Bird.”

The bird was plucked from his Oct. 18 speech in Manchester, N.H., and from his Oct. 19 speech at Virginia’s George Mason University, where he introduced the “Romnesia” pitch.

“He’s changing up so much and backtracking and sidestepping — (laughter) — we’ve got to name this condition that he’s going through,” Obama told the students. “I think it’s called ‘Romnesia.’ (Laughter and applause.),” he said.

“If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work — you might have Romnesia. (Laughter and applause.) … If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care — you might have a case of Romnesia. (Applause.),” he declared.

Romney’s people hit back quickly.

“Women haven’t forgotten how we’ve suffered over the last four years in the Obama economy with higher taxes, higher unemployment, and record levels of poverty,” said Romney surrogate and Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock.

“President Obama has failed to put forward a second-term agenda — and when you don’t have a plan to run on, you stoop to scare tactics,” she said. “Mitt Romney is the candidate in this race who will bring us the real recovery we need.”

The Republican National Committee was even less charitable, and distributed a video from one of Obama’s 2008 rallies in Virginia.

“You don’t deserve a bunch of mud-slinging. You don’t deserve a bunch of Internet rumors and scandal-mongering,” Obama told his supporters at a rally in Bristow, Va. “You won’t get that from my campaign.”

“Seems like the desperate Obama of today doesn’t want to remember the Obama of 2008,” quipped RNC’s research director, Joe Pounder.

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