CNN host Soledad O’Brien says that her son was “devastated” after Wednesday night’s presidential debate because he believed that GOP hopeful Mitt Romney wanted to kill Sesame Street character Big Bird.
“I would stop the subsidy to PBS,” Romney told debate 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.”
“My son was devastated when he learned that Big Bird might be killed,” O’Brien admitted on CNN the next morning. “I mean, really.”
“No one’s going to kill Big Bird, they’re just talking about taking him off of welfare,” conservative CNN contributor Will Cain disagreed. “By the way, this was a moment of levity. This was a nice moment for Mitt Romney. It was funny.”
“Right, that’s going to solve our budget crisis, not funding Big Bird,” liberal CNN contributor Roland Martin quipped skeptically. “Gotcha. Appreciate that, Mitt.”
In fact, the $444 million in subsidies the U.S. government provided to Corporation for Public Broadcasting last year only accounted for .037 percent of the nation’s $1.2 trillion deficit.
Sesame Workshop Executive Vice President Sherrie Rollins Westin recently told O’Brien that it would take a lot more than Romney’s budget cuts to kill Big Bird.
“The Sesame Workshop receives very, very little funding from PBS,” she explained. “So, we are able to raise our funding through philanthropic, through our licensed product — which goes back into the educational program — through corporate underwriting and sponsorship. So quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting, but when they always try to tout out Big Bird and say, ‘We’re going to kill Big Bird,’ that actually is misleading. Because Sesame Street will be here. Big Bird lives on.”
“It’s brought out because it sticks in the debate,” O’Brien noted. “The reason you raise it and you practice it is because that’s what people are going to talk about.”
Watch this video from CNN’s Starting Point, broadcast Oct. 4, 2012.
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019