After recently promising to end funding for beloved Sesame Street character Big Bird, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is now refusing to take questions from children on a Nickelodeon special, Kids Pick the President: The Candidates.
Although both then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on the special in 2008, only Obama has agreed to participate this year, the network said on Monday.
“By answering kids’ questions directly, candidates show respect for kids,” host Linda Ellerbee said. “We are disappointed that Mitt Romney wouldn’t take the time to answer the questions, but are thrilled that President Obama participated in the special.”
Deputy National Press Secretary Adam Fetcher told TMZ that Romney had decided to “play hookey” because he couldn’t even handle questions from America’s youth.
“Kids demand details, and I’m sure they want some answers on why Romney could increase their class sizes, eliminate their teacher’s jobs, raise taxes on their families and slash funding for Big Bird,” Fetcher quipped. “‘The dog ate my homework’ just doesn’t cut it when you’re running for President.”
During a presidential debate last week Romney had told moderator Jim Lehrer, “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow from China to pay for.”
Obama, who recorded his Nickelodeon appearance on Monday, took questions from kids about gun control, the economy, immigration, marriage equality, bullying, obesity and his most embarrassing moment.
“I’m running into doors and desks all the time,” the president said.
Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President: The Candidates airs at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, Oct. 15. Kids will have a chance to vote online between Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.
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