Big Bird steals some spotlight as Speaker Boehner blasts Obama in Derry visit
DERRY – U.S. House Speaker John Boehner vowed Monday that top Democrat Nancy Pelosi will be unable to grab the gavel from his “stone, cold hands” in the Nov. 6 election.
That’s yet to be seen, but a certain yellow, feathered Sesame Street character managed to steal some of the spotlight from the top congressional GOP leader’s visit to the Mitt Romney campaign headquarters in Derry.
Outside, the Barack Obama re-
election team had convinced a volunteer to don a Big Bird outfit straight from a Boston costume store to mock Romney for declaring he would end federal support for public television.
The volunteer held a sign that read, “Romney-Boehner. Tough on Sesame Street; Soft on Wall Street.”
Boehner came to New Hampshire for a brief visit that included a public rally with 1st District congressman Frank Guinta, R-N.H.
“The only way she is going to get that gavel is to try to pry it out of my stone, cold hands,” Boehner said to cheers from the GOP partisan crowd of about 100 people.
Last week, Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, said she was confident at getting the 25 net gain of seats she needs in four weeks to get back the speaker’s post she lost in 2010.
Boehner, an Ohio congressman, said every four years candidates in both major, political parties declare that election to be the most important of their lifetime.
“Guess what? They were wrong,” Boehner declared of the most critical choice between Obama and Romney. “This is the most important election of our lifetime this November. The people of America cannot afford four more years of his economic policies. They have actually made it worse.”
Meanwhile, at the scene outside on West Broadway, Obama campaign spokeswoman Holly Shulman said Romney’s shot at Big Bird during last week’s debate ignited voter interest in this presidential race.
“We’ve seen people get more engaged, more motivated when you hear Mitt Romney say he wants to give a tax cut to millionaires, get rid of Planned Parenthood and end funding of Big Bird,” Shulman said.
The Sesame Street program has its own private, independent support so it would remain on the air even if federal aid to the Public Broadcasting System were eliminated, PBS officials said last week.
Boehner said he got involved in politics nearly two decades ago as a small businessman who first joined his homeowners association because he was upset at spending and tax decisions made by government.
“I don’t feel one bit differently today about who I am and why I am there,” Boehner said.
Romney would support policies that unleash private investment in the economy to create jobs and lower joblessness, Boehner said.
Guinta introduced the House leader and said extra work by volunteers can win this swing state for Romney and re-elect the state’s two GOP House members.
“Most of all we he wants a senate and a president that we can work with and we in New Hampshire have to deliver for him,” Guinta said of Boehner.
After the 13-minute visit, Boehner’s motorcade hustled him to a private fundraiser for 2nd District Congressman Charles Bass, R-N.H., at an unidentified home in Amherst.
Boehner agreed to pose for photographs and sign items for supporters but refused to answer several questions aimed at him by reporters.
Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Landrigan on Twitter (@Klandrigan).