CafeMom and HLN Talk Big Bird, the Debate, and the Mom Vote! (VIDEO)

HLNThe general consensus -- among moms and debate viewers in general -- is that Mitt Romney “won” Wednesday night’s presidential debate.

But he made a major misstep with some moms when he referred to his plan to cut funding to PBS if elected. I spoke with Robin Meade about this issue and more yesterday morning on HLN's "Morning Express."

Click through to see the video!

“I’m sorry, Jim,” Gov. Romney told debate moderator and PBS anchor Jim Lehrer. “I’m going to the stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. 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 it.”

It’s one thing to tell a mom that funding of non-critical federal programs should be cut. It’s another thing altogether to jeopardize the future of Big Bird. “It was the ONLY thing he said last night that I didn't like,” wrote mom Nancy on our Moms Matter Facebook page. “I hope that Big Bird pecks the hell out of him!” added reader Jean.

Other Moms Matter readers, though, said Romney was on the right track. “It's time to tighten our belts,” wrote mom Melissa. “If times are tough in your own home, then you cut the spending. Same situation on a national level. I am sure we all will welcome Big Bird back -- eventually. This isn't dire news -- the economy is.”

Why did the Big Bird comment strike such a nerve with mothers? As a mom myself, I can tell you that PBS Kids programming absolutely saved me when my kids were small. I could turn it on from time to time and sneak in a phone call or a little bit of work, knowing that my kids were watching television that was educational and commercial-free. Sesame Street in particular is basically the Holy Grail of kids’ TV. Most moms remember the show from their own childhoods -- it gives parents a warm, fuzzy feeling to see their children relate to the same characters they loved growing up.

Perhaps Mitt Romney needs to take a closer look at PBS if elected president and simply make federal funding conditional. He could suggest that the executives there lower costs by cutting Lawrence Welk re-runs, Masterpiece Mystery, and America Quilts. I personally believe those are programs that the nation could live without.

Eliminate Big Bird, though, and trust me. The feathers will fly.

What did you think about Gov. Romney's target on Big Bird? Do you think it was a mistake to call out Sesame Street during the debate?


Screen grab via

2012 election, hln


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A babysitter? That's what this was just called. Do you really think when people don't have jobs. Many have lost their homes. Some can't afford health care, that we, as Americans should be borrowing money to pay for a television channel?

If this is your child's education, shame on you. They don't NEED this, you just WANT it. It gives you the warm fuzzies but it's just a tv channel and it's not going off the air. You can buy these DVD's. You could donate to PBS. Why should it be free? I have to pay to watch football. My kids liked PBS as well but as a country, things weren't like this. If we need to cut back, every little bit helps. 

I feel it's exactally things like this that should go first. Should we cut back on funding to schools? Health care? The military? Or PBS? 

SuzyB... SuzyBarno

What Mitt meant was that we will cut unnecessary spending. PBS is not necessary. And even though it costs like .01% of the money, as someone commented in another post, this person feels it won't make that much of a difference. Mitts point is, there is probably a whole bunch of things that cost that much and they add up! Shit adds up! We have to be responsible. Just like when things get tight for your household and you go to the grocery store, you'll buy generic or the sale item because its just a few cents less than the big name brand. But if you are buying 100 items in that trip, a few cents an item adds up to a few dollars and a few dollars a week adds up for a year. Simple! Everyone should stop freaking out about what Mitt said about big bird and look at the real issue. People are just trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

It amazes me that people are in a huff over freakin big bird. Our country is broke, and some are upset about sesame street..... pbs will survive without federal funding. For those that are freaking out, send pbs a check. We have bigger fish to fry right now.

nonmember avatar kevobx

Why is the country broke? Where did all the money go to? Let's start with all the foreign countries, the world is paying for peace? That's a monetary bully. For when they shall say peace and safety, sudden destruction will come upon them, and they shall not escape.

nonmember avatar kevobx

What is hatred, see the red (Esau) *Psalm 81:15 The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him: *Luke 23:21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.

Procr... Procrastamom

Yes JAFE, your country should start with cutbacks to the military.  You spend more on defense than all other first world countries combined.  One less illegal war every few years should save you a bundle and help the rest of the world feel more secure.  Also, how does it make sense to give further tax cuts to the wealthy instead of funding things like education, food safety and yes, even PBS?  That's like neglecting to pay your rent so you can eat more caviar. It's ridiculous.

wamom223 wamom223

There you again Procrasta proving again how little you understand about our country.  Seriously, aren't you embarrassed yet.  Funny how you complain about how much money we spend on defense when we are the ones funding NATO.  Also can I point out that Sesame Street toys alone are a million dollar enterprise either, PBS made a crappy deal or they don't need the money.  Either way that can not be our priority.  Why don't you worry about what's going on in your country and how your country spends their tax dollars and we will worry about ourselves.  

Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

Procrast - there needs to be many cuts to start to make a dent. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost roughly a trillion over a ten year period. Take that out, and we still need to do something about the other 15+ trillion. Social programs make up a huge portion of federal spending. Also, you talk about giving tax cuts to the wealthy instead of funding education, etc. Since when is that an either or scenario? Obama didn't stop the Bush tax cuts either. There are plenty of things that should take funding priority right now, and pbs isn't one of them. We should also reduce our foreign aid. Plus, we should stop giving millions out of our homeland defense budget to you guys in Canada. Those drops in the bucket add up. ....... It would also be nice if Obama stopped funding failing ideas / companies run by or owned by his pals and campaign contributors. Solyndra, anyone???

Mark Van Patten

Typical response. Basically people are saying "gut programs that I don't like."
It's time for us to step up as Americans and SHARE the burden imposed by the Bushes.

wamom223 wamom223

Mark I so agree.  It is time for ALL Americans to pay taxes not just half.  I disagree about the Bush burden but you are right everyone should share the burden of taxes.

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