11/12/2013 05:45 pm ET

Ken Burns: 'Taking On Big Bird Was A Really Bad Mistake On The Part Of Mitt Romney' (VIDEO)

Ken Burns still doesn't understand former GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's attacks on PBS during the 2012 election.

During a visit to HuffPost Live to discuss his new film "The Address," the documentarian spoke about the "perennial story" of funding for PBS being threatened. Burns said he feels Romney's promise to cut funding for the channel backfired and is partially responsible for his loss to President Barack Obama.

"Taking on Big Bird was a really bad mistake on the part of Mitt Romney, and it may have reflected in his decisive defeat a month later at the polls," Burns said.

Burns said he doesn't understand why right-wing politicians have it out for PBS, for which the government contributes "less than pennies" compared to the entire federal budget. The current model for funding the network even had the support of a Republican hero, the filmmaker explained:

Even their god, Ronald Reagan, told me as I was beginning my Civil War series, he said, 'That's exactly right.' You get money from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the government granting agency, and then private foundation comes in, private corporations. He said, 'The government has to prime the pump.'

See the full conversation with Ken Burns at HuffPost Live HERE.



Awkward Mitt Romney