Romney: I'd cut PBS, Obamacare, arts subsidies

(CBS News) Amid ongoing questions about his specific plans to reduce the federal deficit, Mitt Romney told CBS News' Scott Pelley that in addition to repealing President Obama's health care law, he would make cuts to a number of federal subsidies, and send some Medicaid funds back to the states.

"The right way to balance a budget really has two prongs," Romney said during a wide-raning interview with Pelley last week. "One is to do those things that encourage the growth of the economy. So, you do things to get small businesses growing and adding-- adding jobs. But you also go through and say which of those things that you should take out of the budget that are no longer essential. The easiest for me to knock out is Obamacare. It's about $100 billion a year. We simply can't afford it. But there are other subsidies that I think you're going to find that we take out."

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Asked for specifics, Romney listed "the subsidy for PBS, the subsidy for Amtrak, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts" and "the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Humanities."

Pressed by Pelley to expand on his answer, Romney also noted changes to how the nation funds Medicaid.

"Let's keep going," he said. "$100 billion a year comes by taking Medicaid, which is the health care program for the poor as well as food stamps, and housing vouchers, and sending those back to the states, and growing them at the rate of inflation, or inflation plus 1 percent in the case of Medicaid," said Romney. "And I think states can do a better job managing those - those efforts - than can the federal government."

Republican Convention 2012: complete coverage

Romney also addressed the notion that he can't relate to voters because of his privileged upbringing and roughly $200 million fortune, arguing that he "grew up in a home where a mom and a dad taught us some extraordinary lessons" and later learned from real-life experiences."

"I got a perspective on how my dad was able to handle tough situations," he said. "And then I, through my life, was able to have the experience of working in settings that required-- a real turnaround. An uphill battle. And I've learned some of the things that I because can help get America strong again, and help the people of America."

Watch the full interview segment below. Additional excerpts will air during CBS News' primetime coverage of the Republican National Convention Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 10 p.m. ET each night.


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