PBS; Inset: Getty
October 04, 2012 11:45 AM

During the first of three presidential debates Wednesday night, the hottest topic on social media wasn’t the economy. It wasn’t job creation. It wasn’t even the word “trillion” – although that word got thrown around a lot.

It was the 8’2″ yellow feathered Muppet, Big Bird.

While debating President Barack Obama, Republican candidate Mitt Romney said he would cut programs funded by borrowed dollars from China – PBS included. “I like PBS, I love Big Bird,” Romney said, “but I’m not going to keep on spending money on things, to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

The comment ignited a firestorm, with parody accounts for Big Bird and his fellow, presumed unemployed Sesame Street residents springing up immediately, and Twitter’s best snarkologists – and celebrities – took to the social network to share their thoughts on the childhood icon’s endangered status.

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