7-year-old boy asks Republican senator why Donald Trump is cutting PBS funding to build Mexico border wall

'He just wants to watch PBS!'

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 23 February 2017 09:44 GMT
Arkansas Senator confronted by 7-year-old on Donald Trump's targeting of Mexicans

A seven-year-old boy put Republican Senator Tom Cotton on the spot during a raucous public meeting by asking why President Donald Trump wanted to cut public broadcasting services to build a border wall with Mexico.

Closing a stormy town hall meeting in Springdale, Arkansas, Mr Cotton pointed to the crowd and asked for one last question.

"I'm Toby," a young voice from the crowd piped up.

"Donald Trump makes Mexicans not important to people who are in Arkansas who aren't Mexicans, like me, my grandma and all my family," Toby said.

"And he's deleting all the parks and PBS Kids just to make a wall. He shouldn't do all that stuff for just a wall."

The constituents in the town hall cheered and applauded Toby as he spoke.

His concerns come as the White House is reportedly considering eliminating funding for public broadcasting and arts programmes.

Such a move would hit NPR and PBS through cuts to the corporation for Public Broadcasting (CBP), which makes a direct grant to PBS and funds local radio stations which pay NPR to use its programmes.

When the Republican senator asked Toby how old he is, he said: "I'm almost eight, but I'm seven."

Mr Cotton replied: "Toby thank you for coming, I know a lot of seven year olds, this isn't their idea of fun. But I appreciate you being here.

"I just want to say that whatever your background, whatever your heritage, whatever your race or ethnicity or religious belief, part of the fabric of America is that we are a melting pot. We are all one people."

At one point he was interrupted by a man in the crowd, who shouted: "Prove it!"

Mr Cotton continued: "And we want Mexico to be a healthy strong partner. We want to help them deal with the problems they've got with drug cartels and crime and grow their economy."

He was then interrupted again, by a man who shouted: "He just wants to watch PBS!"

But Mr Cotton added: "We also have to protect our own citizens from that. And that's where the law comes in."

The heckler then shouts: "It costs almost nothing for PBS!"

Mr Cotton told the crowd he had another appointment before leaving the event, which he had extended by half an hour to take additional questions.

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