mitt romney presidential debate Presidential debate: Mitt Romney likes Big Bird but PBS subsidy has got to goThe first debate of the 2012 presidential race took place Wednesday night (Oct. 3) in Denver, Colo. Here are some highlights from Republican nominee Mitt Romney:

His plan for the economy:  “1. Get us energy independent. 2. Open up more trade, particularly in Latin America. Crack down on China if and when they cheat. 3. Make sure our people have the skills they need to succeed and the best schools in the world. 4. Get us to a balanced budget. 5. Champion small business.”

On reducing the deficit: “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I love Big Bird, I like you too. But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

On insurance: “I know my own view is I’d rather have a private plan. I’d just as soon not have the government telling me what kind of health care I get. I’d rather be able to have an insurance company. If I don’t like them, I’ll get rid of them and find a different insurance company.”

On the role of government: “The role of government is to promote and protect the principles of [the Constitution]. I do not believe in cutting our military. I believe in maintaining the strength of our military … I believe we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country. We are endowed by our creator to pursue happiness we choose … We also maintain for individuals the rights to pursue their dreams and not have the government substitute itself for the rights of free individuals.”

On government spending: “Where you put your money gives a clear indication of where your heart is.”

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."