Mitt Romney Says Stop 'Sesame Street' Funding, 'Big Bird Needs Advertisements'

Big Bird and the rest of the "Sesame Street" gang on PBS could be experiencing its biggest change yet, that is if Mitt Romney has his way.

Romney was asked by a voter at an appearance in Homer's Deli in Clinton, Iowa, how he would "curb political spending" and Romney's answer has surprised many.

"There are three major streams. One is to stop certain programs, close them, turn them off," he said. "My test is, is a program so critical that it is worth money from China to pay for it?... We subsidize PBS, look, I'm going to stop that."

He wants PBS and "Sesame Street" to get advertising and not be dependent on the government’s money and the federal funding and donations.

"We're not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird is going to have advertisements, all right," said the presidential candidate. "And we’re going to have endowments for the arts and humanities but they’re going to be paid for by private charity not by taxpayers - or by borrowers.”

The NY Daily News reports that Romney is a big fan of PBS, but thinks keeping it a non-profit is "immoral" because it lets the overall economy "keep spending money we don't have and passing on to our kids our obligations."

"We just can’t go on like this," he added.

Currently the PBS classic is funded by a combination of public and private sponsors. The Corporation for Public Broadcast and the U.S Department of Education funds taxpayer support for "Sesame Street."

Since beginning of his campaign to become the Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has had much controversy surrounding his Mormon faith. Some in the evangelical community consider Romney’s Mormon beliefs to be an issue of concern, while others do not.

In October, evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas declared that Romney is not a Christian and that Mormonism is a cult. However, evangelical leader Chuck Colson advised that Christians should not refuse to vote for a candidate simply because he or she is a Mormon, but rather they should look at the candidate’s values.

A poll conducted by NBC News and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in early December had Gingrich beating Romney 41 percent to 21 percent.