Romney really does like PBS
October 23rd, 2012
11:22 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney really does like PBS

(CNN) - Mitt Romney's latest campaign ad is brought to you by the letters P, B, and S.

The Public Broadcasting Service, home to "Sesame Street" and Big Bird, had its moment in the first presidential debate. Now, PBS lives on in the Republican presidential candidate's advertisements, released on Tuesday.

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Campaigns regularly "fair use" television footage in their advertisements, and sometimes the onscreen graphics give away the source of the clips. Such is the case in Romney's two spots released Tuesday morning, where the graphics of PBS and Boston's WGBH channel 2 - "PBS’s single largest producer of Web and TV content" - are clearly visible onscreen.

Romney has spoken out against federal funding for PBS on the campaign trail and at the first presidential debate, held October 3.

"I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS," he said to Jim Lehrer, who moderated the debate and anchors "PBS Newshour."

"I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird," he said. "Actually like you, too. But I'm not going to - I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."

The comment went viral online and became a campaign trail talking point on both sides of the aisle.

"He's trying to sell you on this five-point plan," Obama said at an event in Athens, Ohio. "Then he tries to take another stab at trying to sell you on his $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy. He says it's not going to raise the deficit."

"Then, when you ask him, all right, if you're going to pay for all this, how are you going to pay for it - couldn't tell you," the president continued. "Said he was going to pay for it by cutting Planned Parenthood and Big Bird."

And Obama has mentioned the "Big Bird" moment enough times that Romney has sought to turn it back on the president.

"What he wants to talk about, instead of these people on Food Stamps, instead of the fact that half the kids coming out of college can't find work or college-level work, how that one out of six Americans is living in poverty - what he wants to talk about is how we can save Big Bird," Romney said. "What I want to talk about is how I can help save the American family and get good jobs for the American people."

PBS is partially funded through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives about $450 million a year - a small portion of this year's $3.5 trillion federal government spending. "Sesame Street" is produced by Sesame Workshop, which says 93% of its costs are funded by corporate sponsors and licensing.

Other Romney campaign ads released this month have used debate footage aired by CNN and NBC.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    PBS is partially funded through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives about $450 million a year – a small portion of this year's $3.5 trillion federal government spending. "Sesame Street" is produced by Sesame Workshop, which says 93% of its costs are funded by corporate sponsors and licensing.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    The taxpayers do not need to be paying $450 million to fund PBS. Not when we are $16 trillion in the hole. Mitt Romney is exactly correct. $450 million here and $450 million there and pretty soon you begin seeing why the federal government spends $1 trillion more a year than it collects in revenues. Obama is not managing. Mitt Romney will. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    October 23, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. James

    Good job Obama pissing the military off dont think that's gonna go well in states like VA, NC, FL..etc.

    October 23, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Yeah. He likes trees, cars, teachers, and moochers and takers, too.

    October 23, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    He simply made it clear, you can't solve this economy by spending. Obama has CLEARLY proved that.

    October 23, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Sniffit

    The taxpayers do not need to be paying $4 billion to fund Big Oil. Not when we are $16 trillion in the hole. Obama is exactly correct. $4 billion here and $4 billion there and pretty soon you begin seeing why the federal government spends $1 trillion more a year than it collects in revenues. The House, which is led by the GOP, is not managing. The Dems will. Obama/Biden 2012.

    October 23, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. lesliee

    @Four: Then why does the Mittster like PBS now?

    October 23, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -Four and The Door

    PBS is partially funded through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives about $450 million a year – a small portion of this year's $3.5 trillion federal government spending. "Sesame Street" is produced by Sesame Workshop, which says 93% of its costs are funded by corporate sponsors and licensing.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    The taxpayers do not need to be paying $450 million to fund PBS. Not when we are $16 trillion in the hole. Mitt Romney is exactly correct. $450 million here and $450 million there and pretty soon you begin seeing why the federal government spends $1 trillion more a year than it collects in revenues. Obama is not managing. Mitt Romney will. Romney/ Ryan 2012.
    ***********************************************
    We also don't need 2 Trillion more in defense spending than the Joint Chiefs requested, yet he wants that. Now, how the heck will he pay for that, along with the tax cut he claims all fo us will get, and balance the budget? Cutting PBS won't do it. Same nonsense the GOP has been pulling for 3 decades, and it will produce a predictable result.
    Fact: Romney can't count, Obama can.

    October 23, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Well fellow americans..... ready yourself for another 4 years of this sad, sad state of affairs.

    October 23, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Wake up People!

    Oh give it a break cnn, we all know you are on Willards payroll. How long before every story on the ticker is Pro Robmey???

    October 23, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Paul_I

    Romney likes Big Bird, but he is going to cut funding to PBS. Food stamps? Romney likes people who are on food stamps, but he is going to cut funding food stamps. College? Romney likes people who get a college degree, but he is going to cut funding to colleges and eliminate tuition assistance. It is tough when Romney likes you.

    October 23, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. B.

    Romney really likes PBS.. and Women, and Cars..and Poor people, and Veterans,and old people, and swiss bank accounts, and Chinese investments, and 50% of the Americans, and buddies that make more than 100 million a year..

    The man is a Corporate Puppet, period!

    October 23, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F

    Four – We also do not need to add $2 trillion to our debt for military spending the military does not want.

    October 23, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Riiiiight. Are we supposed to believe this because he has a PBS friend?

    October 23, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Rich Park

    Sure he really likes it today, yesterday not so much. His underlying intentions are clear, cut everything you can, especially if it does not cost his base money, just to balance a 20% tax cut mainly going to the plutocratic 1%, and if we get a + 4% economic growth rate, that covers the cut? That's a lot of growth work just to offset a tax cut for a few, and who knows what else it will cost the middle class just to balance. Willard says he will cut loop holes and it will basically effect NO ONE adversely, NOT BUYING IT, and when it does cost some segment of society, you'd have to bet the tea baggers won't let it be the rich we must be beholden to.

    October 23, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. philojazz

    Well, I'm not too sure about the "P" part, but The Romney definitely likes the "BS". That's all we hear from him, in fact.

    October 23, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. JonfromLI

    The only part of the debate last night that gained my interest was when they were talking about how each would work to cut the deficit. Romney was pretty adamant about not cutting a penny spent on making sure the United States was the strongest nation in the world – a few sentences after making the statement that the U.S. already was the strongest nation in the world; while Obama suggested that we don't need to continuously write blank checks on the defense budget while sacrificing education and the arts. Haliburton and Lockheed Martin will continue to turn significant profits well after we've pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    October 23, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. nostrildamus

    I did a very good job in college of rationalizing my way into be constantly broke. That beer was just a small part of the budget. That halloween costume was just a small part of the budget. That fancier calculator was only a little bit more of the budget than the cheaper but still adequate one. I could go to Subway for dinner, it was just a couple of dollars more than eating at home.
    The point is that in the scale of the federal budget, there are likely THOUSANDS of small, discretionary items we can cut. We certainly need to reform the big things too, but we can't just gloss over nonsensical spends because "they are too small to worry about."

    I'd still keep PBS though. I'd just pay for it by taxing every "reality" show $50 per viewer per airing.

    October 23, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Well, I'm not too sure about the "P" part, but The Romney definitely likes the "BS". That's all we hear from him, in fact."

    Ha! You can add the "P" back in though...it stands for "Plutocrat."

    October 23, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. FactCheck

    The taxpayers do not need to be paying $450 million to fund PBS. Not when we are $16 trillion in the hole.
    ------

    Yet, you are perfectly okay with taxpayers funding $2 trillion more than what the Joints Chiefs of Staff have asked for so that the Navy can build more ships? Only in the GOP world.

    October 23, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Jo

    Romney puts forth a plan, unlike Obama, that starts cuts where needed. PBS is one of many, where taxpayers money is used to fund liberal documentaries, and close to million dollar CEO salaries. They don't need the money, and other areas where they don't need money, we shouldn't have to borrow money to pay. It's called discipline. I know Obama has a hard time letting things go, which is why he's racked up 6 trillion dollars more in debt!

    October 23, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. Dave Harris

    Romney is in full flip-flop mode here. Next he'll be embracing Planned Parenthood and the EPA. He might even endorse evolution!

    October 23, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. BLKMANinAmerica

    No one cares, he "likes it today" tomorrow the light switch will be turned off..............who knows and who should really give a darn.

    October 23, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. ILikeFacts

    @FactCheck. Couldn't agree with you more. Governor Romney also said he wants to be to fight wars in two theatres. Really? Judging from last night, he's the peace candidate, so what's up? We already have a stronger military than the next 10 major powers combined.

    October 23, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. a slozomby

    I'd rather buy 2 less f35's this year that the air force doesnt want and use that money for pbs

    October 23, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    After $16 trillion of debt, do you think it is time yet to stop giving our politicians a blank check to borrow money against the next several generations of Americans' incomes? Obama will be glad to spend as much as he can. He doesn't care.

    October 23, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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