Mitt Romney, PBS Fan, Would Still Cut Its Funding

"I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases"

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney says he would cut federal funding for PBS — not that he doesn't appreciate its work.

Getty ImagesIn an interview with Fortune, the former Massachusetts governor outlined plans he said would cut billions from the federal government. He says he would turn Medicare over to states, end Obamacare, and eliminate subsidies for Amtrak, the National Endowments for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and PBS. 

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But the cuts are about fiscal discipline rather than his personal taste, he says.

"Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS, I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to strand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf," Romney said.

PBS has long been a target of Republican elected officials who say it doesn't need federal money.

Its parent organization, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, received $444 million this fiscal year. PBS says money from the CPB makes up 15 percent of its funding overall, with the rest contributed by viewers. But some individual stations get half of their money from the CPB, and might have to go dark without federal money, the network says.