One of the most noteworthy moments of Wednesday night's debate was when Mitt Romney, discussing the kinds of cuts he might make to balance the budget, took aim at PBS. Speaking to moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS's NewsHour, Romney hinted that Big Bird and the rest of his Sesame Street friends might be out of a job.
"I'm sorry Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS." he said. "I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you too. But I'm not going to--I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for."
The comment immediately launched 17,000 tweets per minute about "Big Bird," and another 10,000 posts per minute about PBS.
If Mitt Romney wins this is what I will be forced to do... twitpic.com/b0syqt— Big Bird (@FiredBigBird) October 4, 2012
The debate in Denver wasn't the first time Romney told us about the things he likes and doesn't like. And during the debate, he listed another of his preferences.
Here are 10 things Mitt Romney has told us he likes:
Mr. President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land, your administration has cut the number of permits and licenses in half. If I'm president, I'll double them, and also get the -- the oil from offshore and Alaska. And I'll bring that pipeline in from Canada.
And, by the way, I like coal. I'm going to make sure we can continue to burn clean coal. People in the coal industry feel like it's getting crushed by your policies. I want to get America and North America energy independent so we can create those jobs.
2, 3 and 4. PBS, Big Bird and Jim Lehrer
I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I'm not going to -- I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That's number one.
5. Green energy
And in one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world.
Now, I like green energy as well, but that's about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas receives. And you say Exxon and Mobil. Actually, this $2.8 billion goes largely to small companies, to drilling operators and so forth.
6. The idea of $4 trillion in cuts
I mean, you have said before you'd cut the deficit in half. And this -- I love this idea of $4 trillion in cuts. You found $4 trillion of ways to reduce or to get closer to a balanced budget, except we still show trillion-dollar deficits every year. That doesn't get the job done.
7, 8 and 9. Michigan, trees and lakes, (American) cars
Farmington Hills, Mich., at a campaign stop in February
A little history: I was born and raised here. I love this state. It seems right here. The trees are the right height. I like seeing the lakes. I love the lakes. Just something very special here. The Great Lakes but also all the little inland lakes that dot the parts of Michigan. I love cars. I grew up totally in love with cars. It used to be, in the '50s and '60s, if you showed me one square foot of almost any part of a car, I could tell you what brand it was, the model and so forth. Now, with all the Japanese cars, I'm not quite so good at it, but I still know the American cars pretty well. And, drive a Mustang. I love cars. I love American cars, and long may they rule the world, let me tell you.
... and a whopper:
10. Being able to fire people
Nashua, N.H., at a campaign stop in January
I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I want to say, ‘You know, I'm going to get someone else to provide this service to me.'