Big Bird, Chick-fil-A and Bain converge in Pennsylvania

LANGHORNE, Pa. — A rally to keep Big Bird off the unemployment line was held across the street from a Sesame Street theme park in Pennsylvania.

The Bain Workers Bus Tour, with a contingent of workers from companies owned by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s private equity firm Bain Capital, pulled into the parking lot of a Chick-fil-A restaurant near the Sesame Place theme park to protest Romney’s funding policies, dubbed “The Romney Economy.”

“In a Romney economy, Big Bird would be on the unemployment line as the 1 percent get tax breaks,” said The 99 Uniting Website, a coalition of groups which include the Bain Workers. The group disapproves of Romney’s business tactics and believes his economic policies only help wealthy Americans and ignore the financial needs of the 99 percent.

“Bain workers know firsthand what a Romney-Bain economy looks like,” says the group’s website. “Outsourcing the good jobs to China (and) leaving mostly low-wage jobs with limited benefits here in our communities,” the site continues.

Big Bird became the unofficial face of the coalition when, during the first presidential debate, Romney promised to cut funding to PBS if elected. Romney, in outlining ways he would cut federal spending, said, “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS,” adding, “I like PBS; I love Big Bird.”

The brief rally, which featured a Big Bird look-alike, took place in the shadow of Sesame Place because protesters were not allowed on the theme park grounds. Park employees and local police guarded the entrances to the park, citing the demonstration was not affiliated with the Children’s Television Workshop or Sesame Place.

“Sesame Place is a theme park focused on family fun and we do not focus on politics,” said communications manager Susan Godfrey. “However we are happy that everyone likes Big Bird.”

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