Romney again calls federal support of PBS “unnecessary,” suggests advertising

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In an interview with Time magazine, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney once again targets PBS for funding elimination. His comments echo previous statements last December.

“I’ve laid out a whole series of areas that I will reduce spending,” the former Massachusetts governor tells Time reporter Mark Halperin. “And I’m going to eliminate some programs that I think are duplicative and unnecessary. I’ve talked about Amtrak subsidies, subsidies to PBS, subsidies to the endowment for the arts, to the endowment for the humanities.”

“I like PBS,” Romney says. “I’d like my grandkids to be able to watch PBS. But I’m not willing to borrow money from China, and make my kids have to pay the interest on that, and my grandkids, over generations, as opposed to saying to PBS, look, you’re going to have to raise more money from charitable contributions or from advertising.”

At last week’s PBS Annual Meeting in Denver, APTS President Pat Butler said he hopes to meet with Romney soon. “Massachusetts was never a funder of public television,” Butler said, so Romney “operates from lack of experience with the public broadcasting system. He’s a smart, decent guy, I think he’ll listen to reason. It’s important to get the facts in front of him.” 

The entire transcript of the Time interview is here.

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