Romney camp: Why we will get the young people
April 24th, 2012
12:37 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney camp: Why we will get the young people

(CNN) – Steps by both political parties to court younger voters on Tuesday proved it's the youth voting bloc's turn to come under the national spotlight, attention that will continue through the November general election.

President Barack Obama will spend Tuesday and Wednesday at Universities in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa to push for an extension of a law that cuts interest rates for a student loan program for low and middle income undergraduates. Although Mitt Romney on Monday said he agrees with the proposed extension, his campaign dispatched supporters ahead of the president's travels to explain why young voters should back the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

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The group has been a reliably Democratic voting bloc and turned out in record numbers to support Obama in 2008. But Team Romney unsurprisingly predicted a shift toward their candidate given the economic climate for young people in the United States.

Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois, who is currently the youngest member of Congress, said the president's rhetoric has not translated into a better culture for the targeted voters.

"The reality is there's not been opportunity for young people as they've graduated from college," Schock said on a conference call with reporters. "Half of the young people who graduated last year are still unemployed or underemployed. Nearly the same percent still live with their parents."

The chairman of the College Republican National Committee said his demographic has been "disproportionally hurt" by the president's administration. The current youth unemployment rate is double that for all Americans, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Young people who are sitting here, not better off three and a half years later will see that they didn't get the hope and change they were sold in 2008," Alex Schriver said on the same call.

Voters between the ages of 18 and 29 supported then-candidate Obama over then-Republican nominee Sen. John McCain in 2008 66% to 32%, according to CNN exit polling.

But former senator and University of Colorado President Hank Brown said Romney is a "younger and more dynamic Republican candidate" than McCain.

However, Obama has maintained his lead among the group according to the latest CNN/ORC International poll, with 64% to Romney's 32% support.

The president will advocate this week on behalf of an extension to a bill that will keep student loans at 3.4% during his university swing through battleground states he captured in 2008. Without the extension, the rate would return to 6.8% when the current legislation expires on July 1.

Obama blames Republicans for serving as a roadblock to making higher education more affordable. While he has pushed to expand access to college for low- and middle-income students, members of Congress have taken steps to chip away at student aid, including cutting billions from the Pell Grant.

All signs now point to the president using his position to urge lawmakers to prevent a doubling of interest rates on federally subsidized student loans.

"This is a question of values," Obama said Saturday in his weekly internet and radio address. "We cannot let America become a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of people struggle to get by."

– CNNMoney’s Charles Riley contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Wishful thinking Mittens. Yet another demographic you will not win in November.

    April 24, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Ha ha ha ha ha - Out of touch -- with people and reality. ha ha ha ha ha

    April 24, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Joe

    No thanks Bishop Romney, you didnt give a damn about the student & the rate hike until you saw you were losing to them by about as much as the Hispanics. You supported the Ryan plan 100% & the of coarse flipped when it came to lying thru your LDS teeth. You are a no backbone , spineless non carin bout regular folks PLASTIC human being. & what you gonna do next time a reporter asked if you support the Lilly Ledbetter act, Run like the coward you are. You are truely, SEVERLY pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Joseph

    Ron Paul has securely captured the youth. Romney is the GOP's last nail in the coffin.

    April 24, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. cali girl

    Are you going to have your 5 sons get out and talk to the young, just like your wife talks to women and reports back to you?
    The young people of today are very smart and up on current issues. You have no time to court the young because you simply do not care. They are not one of your rich Nascar and Football team owners friends.

    April 24, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Younger than McCain? He's 65 years old. That's a grand-parent - for heaven's sake. He's not 45.

    April 24, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Joe

    Yea , Bishop when you speak to the Crowd of 3 at Liberty, I think you know just how you are thought of. These students have every right in the world to boycott you & your made up religion. You worship Brigham Young, yea the guy who had 55 wives. BAD, BAD, Bishop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    This bain capital is a total disgrace to USA.

    April 24, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Cindy

    Look on the bright side Mitt, You still have the 1 % with the promise that youre going to give them Car Elevators!

    April 24, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Rob G

    If he was so intouch with what most of us real need, he would have brought people like me back into the big tent and not left us looking for a third option.

    April 24, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. willis

    Bishop, Bishop, Bishop, they young kids aint feelin it!!!! Secret Swiss bank accounts, Car elevators, You is way outa touch!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. gelada413

    Mitt seems like you are out of touch on all fronts.

    April 24, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    If Repubs. really cared about Young Americans, they would've repealed the BUSH TAX CUTS on those making more than $250,000. This would have kept the Deficit form exploding. They also wouldn't have sent them to endless Wars, on endless tours, while their kids & Grand kids sat it out like most of them did during Vietnam.

    April 24, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But former senator and University of Colorado President Hank Brown said Romney is a "younger and more dynamic Republican candidate" than McCain"

    Well, there you have it folks. Sixty five year old Mitt Romney (who by his wife's own admission tires easily and therefore shouldn't be held accountable for his mindless "gaffes") is more dynamic than John McCain!!

    Truth to tell, between the two, McCain showed more energy during his campaign in 2008 than Mitt does now in 2012. Good grief, Romney can barely stand, let alone move with ease. Dude's stiff as a log.

    April 24, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Nad

    They will not. Period.

    April 24, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. WiredweirdinSF

    Unfortunately, I think Romney is wrong, these young minds are corrupted in to democrat liberals at a young age by the NEA, kept that way by the liberally biased mainstream media and lied to by corrupt union sponsored organizations all of their lives.They have never been taught to seek the truth, because if the did the democrat liberal party would not exist.

    April 24, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    "The reality is there's not been opportunity for young people as they've graduated from college," Schock said on a conference call with reporters. "Half of the young people who graduated last year are still unemployed or underemployed. Nearly the same percent still live with their parents."
    --------------------–
    And whose fault is that? I recall that the Republican led Congress and the Republican controlled White House that destroyed the job markets in America and shipped them overseas.

    April 24, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Eri

    Romney will lose the women vote, the youth vote, the hispanic vote, the black vote and the sane vote. But as a consolation, he'll get the crazy-republican vote and the mormon vote.

    April 24, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Janine

    This guy lives in his own universe, so very out of touch with the average American, including young people. My kids are all in college now and they are no way voting GOP.

    April 24, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. John

    Of course Romney will get the younger vote in massive numbers. Look at those stuck with student loan debt and no jobs from Obama’s and the Democrats FAILED economic policies. The younger voters are looking for a president that can run a country, build an economy and create jobs, all Obama failures.

    April 24, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. ST

    I do think this election Romney will be the victim of new technology. During primaries, almost all Hispanics got what he said about them in a matter of a minute. To young voters, it is even worse to him, as they are so well equipped to search any information they want to know about individual candidate.

    April 24, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Dave

    LOL! Just more pathetic flip-flopping by Romney. Serioulsy, does this clown really think people are so stupid?

    April 24, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. John

    Not going to happen. LOL Look at the handwriting on the wall, Team Romney, your main man has the more important GOP's telling him that they don't even want to be his VP. The young never go for the GOP, period.

    April 24, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. Publius Novus

    "Romney is a "younger and more dynamic Republican candidate" than McCain." Younger, undeniably true. But "more dynamic?" Are you serious? Sen McCain still has more dynamism in his left pinky than Mitt has in his whole body. I guess we can all sit around and listen to Mitt's war stories about how Bain really stuck it to 'em. Those grey temples are a chick magnet!

    April 24, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. Lynn

    Team Romney sounds worried about that.

    April 24, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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