Mitt Romney is on the defensive with his plans to cut government spending. The Massachusetts Republican had to tell an audience in Iowa that “We are not going to kill Big Bird” when asked about his spending plans, according to the Huffington Post. Romney wants Sesame Street and other public programming to be paid for by advertisements and not the taxpayers.
He also signaled that under his administration, the National Endowment for the Arts would also be cut, asked to survive on private donations and not taxpayers dollars.
Romney made a statement that basically spells out how he views every program in America.
“My test is, is a program so critical that it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?”
Democrats were looking at his proposals to defund the arts with a bit a skepticism, as the National Endowment for the Arts and National Public Radio have long been a desired treat on the Republican Chopping block.
“The GOP should be less preoccupied with silencing cookie monster and more focused on reviving the economy,” replied Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).
in 1995, when Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House, Lowley had invited Bert and Ernie to testify before Congress when Gingrich tried to cut their funding then.
Romney says that when he is President he will cut $500 billion dollars a year from the federal budget by the end of his first term. While this would be a drastic cut, it still would more than a trillion dollars a year short of a balanced budget if spending continues at its current levels.
Since losing to John McCain in the 2008 Republican Primary, Mitt Romney has been running an aggressive campaign to become the nominee to face President Barack Obama in 2012. He is currently polling second in most key battleground states.
Watch a video of Romney telling the Iowa crowd his plans for Big Bird.