Asked by the Des Moines Register editorial board yesterday if he still stands behind eliminating funding for PBS “and Big Bird,” Mitt Romney said yes. He addressed Sesame Street’s standing in the campaign and named programs on PBS that he likes (though isn’t quite sure if they still air).
“For the President to be spending his time talking about Big Bird is unusual, to say the least,” Romney said. “The good news is, the people from Sesame Street have made it clear that Big Bird is quite profitable, doesn’t need the government subsidy.”
Romney continued: “Frankly, what are there now? I don’t know, 500 stations, 1000 stations in America? There’s only one that receives government support. And its programming will do just fine whether or not there’s federal subsidy. I don’t know how much time you spend watching PBS but I enjoy it. I like Masterpiece Theater. What is it, Wall Street Week in Review? Is that still on? Those programs will go on.”
The show Romney referred to is actually Wall Street Week and it ended in 2005.
“We’re going to have to give up some things,” Romney told the board. “We’re not going to have to give up Big Bird. But we’re going to have to give up giving federal dollars to something like PBS.”
The interview took place in a barn in Van Meter, Iowa. It concluded with Romney asking for the publication’s endorsement, which has also requested an interview with President Obama.