President Barack Obama’s campaign continued to attack GOP challenger Mitt Romney in a new ad Tuesday for his threat to cut subsidies to Public Broadcasting System, or PBS, and fire Big Bird in order to save pennies and cut the nation’s high debt.
The ad, titled “Big Bird,” was released Tuesday and compares the much loved Sesame Street character to several convicted corporate giants who have faced the justice system for crimes including fraud and money laundering.
“Bernie Madoff. Ken Lay. Dennis Kozlowski. Criminals. Gluttons of greed. And the evil genius who towered over them? One man has the guts to speak his name,” the ad says before cutting to Romney calling out Big Bird.
“Big. Yellow. A menace to our economy. Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street,” the ad says. “Mitt Romney, taking on our enemies no matter where they nest.”
During the first of three segments of the 2012 presidential debate last Wednesday, Romney told moderator Jim Lehrer that should he become president money won’t be spent subsidizing PBS and he also threatened to fire Big Bird.
“I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS,” Romney said in explaining how he would balance the budget and stop the ballooning deficit. “I like PBS, I love Big Bird, I actually like you, too, but I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”
Reports are that about 12 percent of PBS funding through the Cooperation of Public Broadcasting are from government subsidy. That’s about $445 million, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Some 60 percent of PBS’s funding come from private donors and grants, CSM’s reported.
Doing away with Obamacare is also among Romney’s plan to slash the federal deficit. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, has said that Obamacare will actually spend more money, raise more taxes and reduce the deficit.
It has been a struggle for the president to balance the budget and the United States has registered a fourth, consecutive $1 trillion deficit under his tenure. CBO on Friday estimated that the budget deficit for 2012 would be $1.1 trillion. That figure is $200 billion less than last year’s deficit.