It's safe to say that none of the Republican candidates for president are quite as enamored with public funding for the arts as the Democrats are, but Mitt Romney was making it an issue Wednesday, claiming he'll even cut off PBS.
To be sure, Big Bird and the rest of the "Sesame Street" Muppets probably aren't endangered. They'll just have to go commercial, if Romney gets his way.
In order to balance the budget, Romney told supporters in Iowa Wednesday, he'll "stop certain programs."
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"Close them. Turn 'em off. Even some you like," he said. "You might say, 'I like the National Endowment for the Arts.' I do," Romney said. "I like PBS. We subsidize PBS. Look, I'm going to stop that. I'm going to say that PBS is going to have to have advertisments."
"We're not going to kill Big Bird," Romney said. "But Big Bird is going to have advertisments. All right?"
"I happen to think it's immoral for us to keep spending money we don't have, and passing on to our kids our obligations," Romney told supporters at Homer's Deli in Clinton, Iowa. "My test is, is a program so critical that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it."
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which delivers a portion of the funding for PBS and other public-broadcasting entities, spent $422 million in 2010 while the NEA has given more than $4 billion in grants since it was created in 1965.
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Copyright 2012 The Hollywood Reporter