President Barack Obama on Thursday stood up for Sesame Street character Big Bird after Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney promised to end funding for public broadcasting.
“I would stop the subsidy to PBS,” Romney told debate moderator Jim Lehrer on Wednesday. “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow from China to pay for.”
At a campaign event in Denver the next day, Obama blasted Romney for refusing to close corporate tax loopholes and ruling out raising additional revenue to balance the nation’s budget.
“And when he was asked what he would actually do to cut the deficit and reduce spending, he said he’d eliminate funding for public television,” the president explained to boos from the crowd. “That was his answer. I mean, thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird. It’s about time.”
“We didn’t know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit,” Obama quipped. “Elmo too.”
In fact, the $444 million in subsidies the U.S. government provided to Corporation for Public Broadcasting last year only accounted for .037 percent of the nation’s $1.2 trillion deficit.
Watch this video from Politico, uploaded Oct. 4, 2012.