Updated 9:00 a.m. ET
It was bound to happen: Big Bird's appearance in an anti-Mitt Romney TV ad.
The Obama campaign released a new ad today that slams Romney's call to end government funding of PBS and tries to turn his joke about loving Big Bird against him.
The ad begins by describing convicted "gluttons of greed" such as Bernie Madoff and Kenneth Lay and cheekily says only "One man has the guts" to speak the name of "evil genius who towered over" them: Big Bird. The ad continues with clips of Romney saying "Big Bird", followed by a clip of Big Bird saying, "It's me, Big Bird."
"Big, yellow, a menace to our economy," the ad jokingly continues. "Mitt Romney knows it's not Wall Street you have to worry about, it's Sesame Street."
"Mitt Romney, taking on our enemies no matter where they nest."
The ad follows the criticism unveiled by President Obama the day after last Wednesday's debate, during which Romney said that while "I love Big Bird", he would cut funding to PBS.
On Thursday, Mr. Obama told a crowd in Denver, "Thank God someone is getting tough on Big Bird. ... We didn't know Big Bird was driving the deficit."
Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg responded to the ad, telling CBS News in an email: "Four years ago, President Obama said that if you don't have a record to run on, 'you make a big election about small things.' With 23 million people struggling for work, incomes falling, and gas prices soaring, Americans deserve more from their president."
The Obama campaign tells CBS News that the ad will run on national cable - not specifically in any battleground states - and would not indicate how much they're spending on the ad buy.
Caroline Horn contributed to this report.