That’s how Mitt Romney couched the blow to PBS reporter and tonight’s presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer when the GOP candidate said that he would like to end federal subsidies to the Public Broadcasting Service.
Explaining that his deficit-reduction plan consists of cutting spending that he doesn’t deem “so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it,” Romney cited the famous Sesame Street character in attempt to confirm his love for the public media network’s programming despite his desire to cut federal funding.
“I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS,” he said to Lehrer. “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not going to keep spending money on things, borrowing money from China to pay for it.”
Federal funding currently represents about 15 percent of the PBS budget but for some local stations, federal funding can represent 50-60 percent of their budget.
Romney also listed the president’s Affordable Care Act as on his “list” for spending that he would cut.
“ObamaCare’s on my list,” he said to his opponent. “I apologize, Mr. President. I use that term with all respect.”
“I like it,” responded Obama.
“Okay, good,” said Romney. “So I’ll get rid of that.”
Watch below, via MSNBC:
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