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Rick Santorum, interviewed last night on CNN on the Romney-Big Bird debacle, stood by his party's candidate (and his own record of votes against PBS) and, shovel firmly in hand, proceeded to dig his party's candidate an even deeper hole with this quote:

“I’ve voted to kill Big Bird in the past. I have a record there that I have to disclose. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Big Bird. You can kill things and still like them, maybe to eat them, I don’t know. That’s probably that. Can we — can we go back on that one?”

As requested, a full transcript (by me - mistakes are all mine) of the Santorum piece of the clip on the Washington Post blog:

---TRANSCRIPT---

Host: Finally, would you kill Big Bird?

Santorum: Heh  Heh. Well, as a matter of fact, I’ve voted to kill Big Bird. I have a record there that I have to disclose. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Big Bird; I mean, you can kill things and still like them, maybe to eat them, I don’t know, but, uh, that’s probably not [shakes hands back and forth, palms to screen]. Can we, can we, can we (hard to hear what is being said by Santorum as Host talks over him at this point).

Host: No, that was beautifully badly phrased. I think we should end on that note; it’s going to make you feel really uncomfortable.

Santorum, talking underneath host: That was, that was, that was, that’s, that’s…

Host: You can kill things but still like them. Rick Santorum. What a perfect way to end the interview.

(I am not going to transcribe the interview with Newt Gingrich that follows on this same clip. All the Santorum part is transcribed above. If someone wants to transcribe Gingrich and company, or identify the host in the Santorum clip, please do: I’ll be happy to post it in  the diary with a hat tip to you.)

Given how much publicity in opposition to himself and his campaign Romney has generated with his attack on international childhood icon Big Bird, and the way President Obama has picked this up and is running with it, it's no wonder Santorum attempted, in vain, to walk his quote back yesterday. At least a coupoe of sites posted the comment and the video clip: the Washington Post's 'Election 2012' blog, and the Huffington Post, which picked it up from the "Washington Post" blog in the first link.

I did not honestly think it was possible for something that dug the hole Romney's already made for himself that much deeper to come out of one of his surrogate's mouths on television. Sure, I expected deep stupidity and callousness, but not on a Marianas Trench level.

Long live Big Bird, and please help re-elect our President. He'll protect Big Bird's back. Romney, Santorum, and the rest of the wrecking crew? They've already got the long knives out.

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