Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney repeated his pledge to cut funding for public television during Wednesday's debate with President Barack Obama.
"I would stop the subsidy to PBS," Romney told moderator Jim Lehrer. "I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I'm not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow from China to pay for."
Earlier this year, Romney said programs like PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts "should have to stand on their own."
The federal government spent $444 million on subsidizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees PBS, which constitutes about .037 percent of the nation's $1.2 trillion deficit.
Romney's "I love Big Bird" statement quickly made waves around social media, with various memes attacking Romney's vow. "Big Bird" became a trending topic on Twitter and at least one parody account, @BigBirdRomney, forming before the debate was over.
"Under Mitt #Romney, Sesame Street will become an extension of Wall Street," "Big Bird" tweeted.
Watch video of Romney's remarks, posted on YouTube by Buzzfeed, below.
[Image via OurTiempo.com Chicago on Facebook]