President Barack Obama’s campaign continued to attack GOP challenger Mitt Romney in a new ad Tuesday for Romney's threat to cut subsidies to the Public Broadcasting System, or PBS, the ad claims Romney wants fire Big Bird in order to save a relatively small amount of money to cut the nation’s high debt.
The ad, titled “Big Bird,” was released Tuesday and compares the beloved Sesame Street character to several convicted corporate giants who have faced the jail time 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 first 2012 presidential debate last Wednesday, Romney told moderator Jim Lehrer that should he become president, federal money won’t be spent subsidizing PBS.
“I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS,” Romney said in the debate, explaining how he would balance the budget and stop the deficit from ballooning. “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 subsidies. That’s about $445 million, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Some 60 percent of PBS’s funding comes from private donors and grants, CSM reported.
Sesame Workshop has since requested that campaign ads featuring Big Bird be removed.
"Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns," a statament on its website read. "We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down."
Doing away with Obamacare is also among Romney’s plans 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. The Congressional Budget Office 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.