Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 Republican presidential nominee, may have upset the Public Broadcasting Service television network during the recent presidential debates, and now the nonprofit broadcaster is sounding off about it.
"We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation," the network said in a statement. "We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves. The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget."
The comment comes after Romney spoke about cutting funding for PBS to reduce spending in the country.
"I'm sorry Jim. I'm gonna stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm gonna stop other things," Romney said during the debate. "I like PBS, I like Big Bird, I actually like you too."
However, PBS did not seem to agree that cutting funding to the network would have an impact on the nation's debt.
"Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation's debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating," the statement said. "For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission – harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse."
Fans of the network took to Twitter to also defend PBS.
"Blaming the deficit on welfare/PBS/NASA is like saying your company went bankrupt from mismanagement of the take a penny/leave a penny tray," one person tweeted.
Another person offered a metaphor for good measure in an attempt to prove how ridiculous cutting PBS sounded.
"Cutting PBS support to help in balancing Federal Budget is like trimming your toe nails to lose weight as your diet plan," the person tweeted.