LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — PBS released a statement Thursday saying the company is “very disappointed” it became a target during Wednesday’s presidential debate when Gov. Mitt Romney said he would cut funding to the station.

“I want to lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time. What things would I cut from spending? Well first of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test – if they don’t pass it: is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? I’ll get rid of it,” Romney said. “I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop this subsidy to PBS, and I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I like Big Bird. I actually like you too, but I’m not going to keep spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

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Romney’s comment triggered thousands of Twitter responses including #KillBigBird hashtag.

“Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves,” PBS’ statement read.

The statement said, “91% of all U.S. television households tune in to their local PBS station. In fact, our service is watched by 81% of all children between the ages of 2-8.”

Sesame Workshop tweeted a part of its statement:

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Thursday morning, Pres. Barack Obama also tweeted a comment: