First it was PBS, and now Mitt Romney is dissing Nickelodeon. The Republican presidential candidate told the children’s channel that he is too busy to participate in its annual Kids Pick The President special. “He just officially declined on Thursday,” a Nickelodeon spokesperson told Deadline today. The Romney campaign did not respond to queries about not being involved in the special, which will air October 15. Romney will appear instead in clips from various campaign events of him addressing issues related to children. President Obama will be taking part: According to Nickelodeon, Obama recently watched video questions from children around the U.S. and gave responses in a session filmed at the White House. “By answering kids’ questions directly, candidates show respect for kids,” NickNews host Linda Ellerbee said in a statement today. “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.” After the special, children can vote online for who they think should be the next president. The results, which have mirrored the general election five of the last six races, will be announced October 22.
Romney ruffled some feathers in the first presidential debate last week when he said he loved Big Bird but confirmed he would cut federal money to PBS. Since then, the Sesame Street character has become a fixture of political rhetoric and on social media. Big Bird even showed up on Saturday Night Live this weekend to defend himself and the network.