Santorum warns of 'Barney' and 'Sesame Street' lobby
February 16th, 2011
11:56 AM ET
4 years ago

Santorum warns of 'Barney' and 'Sesame Street' lobby

Washington (CNN) - All-but-declared presidential candidate Rick Santorum has a warning for Republicans in Congress who want to slash funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Watch out for the "Barney" and "Sesame Street" lobbies.

The former congressman and senator said on Fox News Monday he tried to cut federal funding for the CPB when he was in office but faced a powerful backlash from supporters of the legendary kids shows.

"When I came to Congress, I was one of the guys that said we got to cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It wasn't necessary anymore," he said. "Well the 'Barney' contingent came out and the 'Sesame Street' contingent came out and these are programs that are popular among families and so they hit you pretty hard."

The comments come a week after House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, proposed a budget blueprint that eliminates all funding to the CPB, which helps subsidize NPR and PBS affiliates. Last year, CPB received more than $400 million from the federal government.

In response to threatened cuts, a handful of Democrats have organized a press conference Wednesday featuring Sesame Street characters to highlight the importance of the CPB funding.


Filed under: Rick Santorum
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Dale

    $400 million? Here we go again with the Republican's pretend fiscal responsiblity. This is a distraction. The funding for PBS is tiny compared to the size of the problem, and the Republicans are just putting on a show. Where are the Republican calls for a double-digit cut to Defense (aka Military Industrial Corporation) spending?? That would be a thousand times more effective than cutting PBS.

    February 16, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Kathy

    GOP is afraid of an educated voter! Keep the masses dumb and afraid is their motto.

    February 16, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. The Other Dale

    Yeah, how dare PBS actually want to make a point about their programming being educational? Or that the amount they get is a drop in the bucket compared to most other things in the budget. So much for thinking of our "children and grandchildren." Oh, that's right, they don't vote, so why should the Republicans care?

    February 16, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Bubba

    Rick Santorum also thinks Barney and Sesame Street are fronts for gay organizations brainwashing our kids into acting like little teeny christians, and that they are linked to space aliens who are eating our cattle.

    February 16, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. vic nashville tn

    Republicans cuts are meaningless

    February 16, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. TomInRochNY

    Now that the Rs are in control they want to silence anyone who might portray them in a truthful light. Go conservatism!

    February 16, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Pretzel Logic

    Yeah let's cut funding for children's TV programming but continue spending $100M to promote the Army via NASCAR. Tool.

    February 16, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. galfridus73

    Let's see... To start with, Mr. Santorum, perhaps you should learn to speak English properly. It should be "I was one of the guys [who] said we [should*] cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting." (*or "could," "have to," etc., but "got" is poor usage in this case) Stop taking your cues from Palin and Dubya and learn to speak like an educated individual (of course, if you had paid attention to some of these educational shows...).

    Secondly: I would love to see the Republicans cut the CPB. The attack ads in next year's election will make the swiftboaters look like amateurs if they pull it off.

    February 16, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Linda Hill

    I think he is just angry that we don't fund Fox News. He hates that we get quality programming and unbiased news from PBS and CPR.

    February 16, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Cosmo

    What an incedible idea! The people deciding what they want rather than the GOP and their rich supporters deciding. A radical idea like that could turn the status quo upside down. I guess the radical right better step up its plans to eliminate the Department of Education. After all, it is not mentioned specifically in the Consitution and if you educate people they will have the temerity to insist that we live in a democarcy where the majority rules, not a noisy and well connected minority.

    February 16, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Joshua Ludd

    How about we cut the budget some other way... rather than using it as a way to cut programs we don't like for political reasons despite their relatively tiny budgets? After all... nickle and dimeing while leaving things like military spending sacrosanct is not going to get us very far.

    February 16, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Realistic

    Yes kids education and any good shows for kids should be slashed. Why not? I mean there is so much kids shows on TV that educate our children and are worthy of watching. Sesame street like thats educational anyway, learn the ABCs who needs that anyway...Lets take the money and give it to the people who lobbies for oil and so on, they are the lobbyists who need it anyway. i mean why you choose a lobbyists for education over an oil lobbyists? I mean all the money that can go towards these children education channels could go to Exxon and all other republican specail interests, thats money well spent...Education, healthcare, food safety, air safety, clean water who needs that anyway.We need the wealthy to get richer, oil companies to pollute our waters, chemicals companies to pollute our air we breathe thats the republican way. Plus if we get dumbed down how would we know the difference anyway and thats the bigger picture in the republican party, dumb americans down.

    February 16, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Martin

    Rick Santorum - the man who killed Big Bird...that would be quite a legacy.

    February 16, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. ARTraveler

    We certainly can't have our children getting educated at the early ages. That this comment is coming from one of the hundreds of Republican presidential want-to-bes is showing how small is their group of intelligent people and Santorium isn't one of them..

    February 16, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Rickster

    Cut off every nickel that goes to the CPB. That's just one more thing that government has no business being involved in. If Barney and Sesame Street are that popular, they will be picked up by another network.

    February 16, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Reggie from LA

    Great idea. Keep'm stupid. The dumber the better. Having a less cerebral lot around can keep the undeserving gain or get into elected posts and maybe increase straw poll ratings. Interesting. Idiocy abounds as to how to drain more resources from the middle class and OMG!!, the children and the grandchildren!! The favorite goats for GOP grandstanding. Sounds to me like now they're saying "screw the kids and grandkids". They don't need Barney and they don't need teachers. Incredible how they get into office.

    February 16, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Bob

    This from our one time, one term , Senate mistake. Get a grip, Ricky. PA dumped you and our national ticket desrves far better.

    February 16, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Sgt Schultz

    Nothing new here...the Neo-Confederates have been trying to destroy Sesame Street and CPC for decades now. Big Bird must be spreading Marxist or National Socialist propaganda again.

    February 16, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. La, La, La

    Right, a republican against abortion but also anti-kids.

    February 16, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Joshua Ludd

    The Frothy Mix strikes again!

    February 16, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Lynne

    Lets cut those extra engines for the airplanes that the pentagon doesn't even want and leave Sesame Street alone...but wait, those are built in the Weeper of the House's district, so we know that will never get cut!

    February 16, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Lee

    Consdering all the money made off toys that Sesame Street sells, there is no need for tax funding of CPB. Sesame Street can pay the tab for NPR and other programs. Big Bird has wings, let him fly on his own.

    February 16, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. Dan from Tx

    Yes... a privatization of public broadcasting is exactly what we need! Who doesn't long for a day when Big Bird wears Abercrombie and Fitch? Or having Barney teach children why Popeye's fried chicken isn't "mmmm mmmm fingerlicking"??

    Great ideas. Keep em comin.

    February 16, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. George

    Ew! santorum! ICK ICK ICK ICK ICK ICK! Why doesn't he just crawl back into the hole he oozed out of?!?

    February 16, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Rick McDaniel

    TV is all but dead, anyway, as the total air time given to advertising is now 52%, of all air time. It will vanish from American homes in the not too distant future, except for DVD's.

    February 16, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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