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‘I love Big Bird!’: The best tweets from MPs watching the presidential debate

Big Bird, a character on the children’s television show Sesame Street.

Matt Sayles/Associated Press

While an emergency debate about food safety carried long into the night on Parliament Hill – and was very scantly attended, according to Green Party Leader Elizabeth May – there was another debate south of the border. Perhaps you heard about it?

The first U.S. presidential debate put Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the same room for, according to ABC, the fourth time ever.

Most pundits and viewers gave the Republican the edge in performance last night. And there were a lot of viewers - more than 10.3 million tweets were sent during the debate, Twitter reported, including many from Canadian politicians.

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Liberal MP Denis Coderre: "Peut pas croire que Mitt Romney est en train de gagner le 1er débat contre Obama.... #EtatsUnis2012" (In English, roughly: "I can't believe Mitt Romney is winning the first debate against Obama...")

Conservative MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay: "'I have a friend who says you pick winners and losers, and you only pick losers.' Romney to Obama citing the Prez's'green energy faves!"

NDP MP Paul Dewar: "Romney on health care sounds like Harper on OAS keep things status quo now cut benefits later #cdnpoli #USDebate"

The two candidates clashed on the economy, taxes, jobs and health care spending. But Mr. Romney's comment that he would remove funding for public broadcasting, even though he likes PBS's Big Bird from Sesame Street, was an instant meme on Twitter.

Treasury Board President Tony Clement: "I love Big Bird! RT @mebuell Democracy at work, folks. Our politicians are approachable, across all parties. Case in point? @tonyclementcpc"

NDP MP Jamie Nicholls: "I like big bird too, but I prefer Ernie and Bert. However, my favorite is a toss up between Casey/Finnegan and Rusty #bigbird"

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae: "Mitt Romney fires Big Bird, this is too much."

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Mr. Rae also couldn't resist a mention of one of his own controversial policies as Ontario premier in the early 1990s:

Mr Rae: "Obama endorses Rae days, praises companies that share difficulties and save jobs..."

Update: Big Bird had to have his say, too:

Sesame Street: "Big Bird: My bed time is usually 7:45, but I was really tired yesterday and fell asleep at 7! Did I miss anything last night?"

And from the Sesame Workshop, the organization behind the children's show:

"We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. We do not comment on campaigns, but we're happy we can all agree that everyone likes Big Bird!"

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About the Author
Assistant editor, Ottawa

Chris Hannay is assistant editor in The Globe's Ottawa bureau and author of the daily Politics newsletter. Previously, he was The Globe and Mail's digital politics editor, community editor for news and sports (working with social media and digital engagement) and a homepage editor. More

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