It’s not only Big Bird getting the cold shoulder from Mitt Romney these days. It’s also Big Bird’s biggest fans.
Romney declined to participate in Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President special, in which children get a chance ask the candidates questions about what matters most to them. According to Linda Ellerbee, the event’s host and executive producer, the Romney campaign couldn’t fit the special into their schedule. “He simply didn’t have time,” she said.
“That’s several million kids who actually want to get involved in the democratic process,” Ellerbee said in a press release, referring to the large number of children who submitted questions for President Obama and Gov. Romney. “They don’t deserve to be dissed.”
President Obama participated this year, as he did in 2008. This time he answered questions on a variety of topics, ranging from gun control to same-sex marriage to bullying.
Beyond giving kids the chance to ask questions, ‘Kids Pick the President’ allows them to cast their vote in an online poll. An ad for the special has one child declaring, “The United States Constitution states that no one under the age of eighteen is permitted to vote, but Nickelodeon says we can!”
Since 1992, when Kids Pick the President began, the participating children have correctly chosen the outcome of the election five out of six times. This year’s special is scheduled to air October 15.
“By answering kids’ questions directly, candidates show respect for kids,” Ellerbee said.