Obama campaign targets Romney over student loans
April 25th, 2012
10:08 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama campaign targets Romney over student loans

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's re-election team came out with a new web video on Wednesday, accusing rival Mitt Romney of pandering on student loans.

The video, "Mitt Romney vs. Reality: Student Loans Edition," highlights comments made by the likely GOP presidential nominee on Monday when he supported the extension of the lowered interest rates.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"There was some concern that that would expire halfway through the year, and I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students," Romney said at a press conference in Pennsylvania.

The interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans is scheduled to double to 6.8% on July 1 if Congress does not vote to extend the current rate of 3.4%. The Senate is expected to take up the bill on Wednesday.

In a political week so far marked by competition for the youth vote, Obama has been on the road making appearances at three universities in battleground states and calling on Congress to pass the extension.

After Romney also endorsed the lowered rate, however, Democrats quickly pounced on his remarks as political pandering.

And in the web video released Wednesday, the Obama campaign pointed to Romney's support for the GOP budget plan proposed last month by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. The plan calls for major cuts to Pell Grants, the other major federal student loan program.

In a statement on Monday, however, Romney specifically addressed the Stafford program, not Pell Grants.

"I encourage Congress to temporarily extend the current low rate on subsidized undergraduate Stafford loans. I also hope the President and Congress can pass the extension responsibly, that offsets its cost in a way that doesn't harm the job prospects of young Americans," Romney said.

Responding to the ad, Romney's campaign on Wednesday pointed to the low unemployment rates for young adults and recent college graduates.

"President Obama and his allies will do anything to avoid talking about his abysmal economic record and his broken promises to young Americans. Half of recent college graduates are unemployed or struggling for work," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement. "Mitt Romney has a detailed plan to get our economy working again, and he will undo the damage caused by President Obama’s failed policies.”


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. mm

    American demographics that Romney doesn't give a rip about: Students, the youth, women, seniors, minorities, gays, military/vets, the middle class, the poor, the sick......just the tip the iceberg, but that covers about 99% of Americans, doesn't it?

    April 25, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Lionel

    Thank you Mr Pres, you have done so much for students. We need to call these Republicans when they change positions and pander to groups. Mitt Ro (money) is flip-flopping again. I am glad that he is the candidate cause there are many more things he needs to be called out on. Students are the future of this country.

    Latinos for Obama 2012

    April 25, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Hilarious... Obama, the king of pandering and buying votes with our tax dollars, accuses others of pandering?! Is this why Obama wanted the government to takeover the student loans, so he could use them as a payoff for votes? Obama is pure corruption in action. All he does is use our tax dollars as reward for people that suipport him and the Democrats.

    April 25, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. David

    A cut in Pell Grant amounts would prove devastating for low income families seeking a college education.

    April 25, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "Mitt Romney vs. Reality: Student Loan Edition"

    They should have called it "Mitt Romney Makeover: Student Loan Edition" They could make an entire series out of the hard line positions that he has taken this cycle, nailing him to the wall with his own words as he debated the issues.

    April 25, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has already started flip flopping to cover his crazy right wingnut positions.

    April 25, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. No plan + no solution + always complaining = GOP

    It would also be more expensive if the obstructionist GOP are controlling Congress.

    April 25, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. tykl

    Here's a secret the Dems don't understand (which is why they should not be allowed to go near the economy): as long as the government keeps giving away bigger and bigger loans, the schools will increase tuition to take advantage (before responding to this post, please at least do a google search or wikipedia or however you get your info to look into the issue). So as long as you would like to continue financing more and more and more and more, Obama is your man.

    April 25, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Emerson

    Get it straight America, Romney and the GOP would love to go back to the 20's and 30's where only the children of the wealthy and well oiled were able to go to college, and that was just to meet others of their class for business and marriage purposes. Think about whcih party is going to keep the American Dream alive before you place your vote.

    April 25, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Dr. Knowitall

    WHy the heck do we tolerate politicians sitting there doing nothing about this issue. Playing with Student loan interst rates does nothing.

    The real probalem lies in the collegs and universities. We need to start protesting there and demand that they run a more efficient stewardship and bring prices down for all students. No more of this political pandering that does nothing.

    April 25, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Have you noticed that for the last few decades, all the intelligence and common sense has been completely with the Democrats? The Republicans seem to attract the complete opposite. Maybe that's why the GOP wants to stifle education? So they can build their ranks?

    April 25, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. T'sah From Virginia

    ►In a statement on Monday, however, Romney specifically addressed the Stafford program, not Pell Grants. ◄
    It still does not matter – if he believes in the Ryan Plan then he is for the major cuts in Pell Grants – that HURTS low-income families. I wonder if Romney even knows what is in the "RYAN PLAN???" Hmm, let's us pull out the famous "Etch-A-LIE" and see!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    April 25, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. Four and The Door

    So this is what we will see for the next 6 months. The Obama campaign grasping at straws to try and redefine the issues, one special interest group at a time. Meanwhile, American voters are concerned about the economy. Housing, unemployment and exploding federal debt. Entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare running out of funding.
    But Obama has no plan for any of this and the Obama/ Biden campaign has no plan to address these issues.

    Romney 2012

    April 25, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Here is the secret that the right wingnuts don't understand; the republicans are responsible unfunded wars, unfunded tax cuts, TARP, tax breaks to big oil, and tax breaks for billionaires have cost our country a near depression. We can give $40 billion in tax breaks to big oil, but we cannot invest in our own country.

    April 25, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Obama

    Hello citizens of my states. Earlier you heard Gov. Romney talk about how he wants to extend the loan rate extension, just like me. I couldn't find anything wrong with his statement because I believe the same thing, so I made stuff up and accused him of doing what I do best, pandering. If he says anything else positive I'll be sure to pretend he said something negative so that my democratic base can accuse him of Flip flopping when he hasn't flip flopped.

    April 25, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    OK, Mitt. Time to come out from behind your Etch A Sketch...

    April 25, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. gg

    the biggest thing republicans have against education is that if a republican gets educated,they become democrates

    April 25, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Four and The Door

    The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot
    Have you noticed that for the last few decades, all the intelligence and common sense has been completely with the Democrats?
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________
    Actually, No. The Democrats are All Politics All the Time. While America crumbles on their watch. They don't have a clue how to run a government. But don't take my word for it. Obama has gone to great lengths with our federal tax dollars to prove it. $5 trillion in new debt and 3 years wasted but he has proven only what a mess Washington can become.

    April 25, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. Michael

    You know why the GOP keeps submitting budgets? Because the democrats (in a democrat majority senate) haven't made a budget the entire time that Obama has been president. Obama just wants to spend spend spend – it's his solution to everything – and then go golfing, go on late night talk shows, and ignoring his role as president.

    I KNOW the GOP will do what is necessary to create surplus in America, create jobs, which will allow for people to get out of debt. DEMOCRATS WILL NOT MAKE A BUDGET – OBAMA IS A FAILURE!!

    April 25, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think we are all tired of the republicans pandering to big oil, Wall Street, big insurance, billionaires, big banks, off shore interests, and special interests.

    April 25, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. Jim

    "Romney is a flip flopper and lies and is the 1% and is a right wing nut job and, and, and..."... don't you hippies have anything other to contribute besides slander? It's a rhetorical question, we all know hippies can't because they embrace a lack of tolerance (yet preach tolerance like crazy) and tend to flock towards being a knife in the back rather than rising above anything..

    April 25, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. SUBS 4 VOTES/Dutch Bad Newz, VA/GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Willard is playing follow the leader. Whatever the President suggest, he's "Mr Me Too."

    April 25, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Dr. Knowitall wrote:

    WHy the heck do we tolerate politicians sitting there doing nothing about this issue. Playing with Student loan interst rates does nothing. ... The real probalem lies in the collegs and universities.
    ---------------–
    The real problem is the cottage industry of private banks the Bush administration inserted into the Student Loan program, all in the name of "privatization." The interest rate under question defines how much profit the banks make.

    The next thing Republicans will be complaining about is how this is another example of government over-regulation.

    April 25, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. NickAnast

    >>"I encourage Congress to temporarily extend the current low rate on subsidized undergraduate Stafford loans. I also hope the President and Congress can pass the extension responsibly..."<<

    Translation: If Rmoney is elected, he'll make sure the extension expires quickly and the interest rate doubles. That way, his friends - the bankers - will make lots of $$$$$.

    April 25, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. John, PA

    The Democrats put the increase for interest rates on student load into law in 2007?

    Where was Obama then; Obama voted present!
    Obama can’t run away from his record of FAILURE!

    April 25, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
1 2 3