Obama campaign targets Romney over student loans
April 25th, 2012
10:08 AM ET
3 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.

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"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. Waffles

    How can education become 'more expensive' under Mitt Romney when it grows at about a 10% click/year now. Four years ago my daughter commenced w/college @ 32500. Each year tuition grew at greater than $3000.00/yr. The reason this can happen is because we make college growth affordable to many through loans. It is simple business. If customer volume goes down, then in order to regain that volume changes (usually cost) has to go down. Having BOTH private and public colleges keeps costs high. As people leave private schools for public, states simply tax at higher rates attempting to keep student costs down but they cannot so both taxes rise AND tuitions rise. Then there is the fear game that ALL people must attend college when there is NO job base in any country that can support a country full of college graduates that now have very high bills to repay. I will expect that China and India outperform us in education becaseu they have where we are going- a HUGE gap between wealthy and poor. A country MUST have a large gap and many poor to perform the tasks no college educated person would want to do- in essence, the poor shore up the educational systems by performing for very low wages and allowing others to make great sums of money to be spent on sending their children to college. I do not believe college for everyone is good for an economy. I believe that rather than educate people for the private sector, we should educated broadly for the basic development of the persons intellect and then business should train those they need specifically. Cheap loans drives up cost and when loaners default, it trickles down to deciding if we can still support the needy with fewer dollars.

    April 25, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Dean

    Obama cannot win the election by running on his dismal record. So he picks on Romney for something they both agree on. Obama just isn't too smart.

    April 25, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Scott S.

    @Four and the Door,

    Do you not think the economy would benefit if students didn't come out of college with up to 6 figures worth of debt? I mean, imagine what these young, mostly unmarried professionals even on an entry-level salary could do for our economy if they didn't have to spend $500 a month on a student loan. New car? Bachelor pad with a nice new TV, entertainment system, video games? If they make enough, maybe they even buy a house. They can't do that when they're forced to send $500 a month to loan payments. People these days are penalized, not rewarded, for going to college. And the universities bear some of this blame too, because they take the scholarships and give them out to athletes instead of students who are genuinely interested in pursuing engineering, or a medical degree. But the fact that almost every student who attends college begins their careers in the red is not only alarming, it's wrong. Investing in education is just that...an investment.

    By the way I notice when you scream about debt, you make no mention of our bloated military budget. Typical.

    April 25, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    I wonder if Romney even knows what is in the "RYAN PLAN???"

    Hey, T'ash. I suspect once Romney starts jiggling those Etch A Sketch buttons, he'll go on record as stating he never really endorsed Ryan's plan at all. GOPers are already coming out of the woodwork with their faux outrage that Americans actually thought the right really wanted to vote Ryan's plan at all. It was all just a silly misunderstanding (wink, wink).

    April 25, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    Mittens was against it before he was for it. What a surprise!!

    April 25, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Dave

    Romney couldn't care less about student loans and the burden they present. He will just keep flip-flopping on the issue and the media will keep letting him get away with it.

    April 25, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. tykl

    @ Wire Palladin, S.F. – I always enjoy your name calling – you might want to check that if you want to engage adults in conversation. Obama was suppose to end all the wars (including closing Gitmo, stopping drone killings instead of increasing them in foreign countries, etc), so fault is his now after 3.5 years. Also, we have been dealing with the same tax code for decades, so your 'sky is falling' routine about taxing billionaires (which is not what Obama talks about – in fact, he doesn't know who is talking about – 1% ,which is over $380k, or millionaires, he uses whichever he feels like at the time of his talk assuring everybody that he certainly doesn't know what he wants or what he is talking about) is as much as a farce as the war on women/latinos/youth/'fill in the blank for whatever other "crisis" the Dems will pander to next'. Just admit Obama is a redistributionist – call it for what it is. That is a legitimate philosophy, just one many people don't agree with.

    April 25, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. tykl

    @Rudy NYC – how's your US Postal Service going? or Medicare? or Social Security? And you say 'privatization' as if that is a bad thing. When you need a package delivered the next day, I guarantee you use FedEx (private company – gasp).

    April 25, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. Wes

    I would rather have a job after college so I can pay off my student loans. I can clearly see his will not happen under obamba.

    Romney-2012.

    April 25, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Data Driven

    So, Knowitall, you're suggesting that "the people" dictate what universities charge for tuition? Hardly sounds like a free market solution to me. I guess the line of philosophical attack, left or right, hardly matters when it comes to the President, eh?

    April 25, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. The REAL Truth.. (not the imposter)

    @The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth – "Obama is pure corruption in action. All he does is use our tax dollars as reward for people that suipport him and the Democrats."
    -----------------------
    Awww... Real.. you need to get real. Instead of your usual spoutrage, try supporting some of it with some FACTS (something repugs are VERY SHORT ON) to support your viewpoint. If not, it comes across as asinine, obstructionist and vacuous. You can google those words if you don't understand them. Then, try a little research on what the Bush/Cheney administration handed out to their "sponsors". What's good for the goose, eh?

    April 25, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Jerry

    Lies, and more lies perpetrated by the Mr. Obama administration! If college students swallow this spiked Kool Aid nonsense, rhetoric, and Mr. Obama's smoke and mirrors philosophy; they are more gullible and dependent than originally thought.

    Mr. Obama is just trying to buy the American voters and his business cronies by throwing tax-payer funds at them.

    This man and his moronic administration have no, and will never have, any respect for the American populace. They consider the American people stupid and unable to think and perform for ourselves.

    We need to show them otherwise!!! Stand tall and be proud. America's presidency IS NOT for sale!!!

    April 25, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. K3Citizen

    Romney will say whatever it takes to gain the power that Obama has. The bad thing is that he has no idea what to do if he gets elected. Romney lusts for the power that goes along with his massive fortune he's built by sending jobs overseas. If we need to cut political positions then Romney would be the one to ask. If we need jobs for Americans then Obama is the right guy for the job. The GOP plan is to add to the unemployment rate by firing more than a million government workers. We already have enough people out of a job.

    April 25, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Holla

    Mr flip-flop at it again. Say and do anything to ramp up the votes. Americans are still looking diligently.

    April 25, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth wrote:

    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.
    ---------------
    The Obama administration is not seeking to "takeover" the student loan program. They are seeking to take the student loan program *back* from private banks, which George W. Bush inserted into the process through his "privatization" initiatives. Only 80% of money spent on student loans actually go to students. The rest goes to the banks. Call it corporate welfare.

    Through "privitization" students pay higher interest rates and have more rigid terms on their loans than before. The cost of loans is higher than ever before. We now have "corporate death panels" deciding who can get an education, and who cannot.

    April 25, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Bob

    Two separate items here. The cost of education and the cost of borrowing money. Very different yet they impact one another only because one is used to purchase the other. I say borrowing money allows institutions to charge more. Shoring institutions up with tax money also adds to the cost. So, in reality, raising interest rates on student loans (which have a pretty good rate of default) may, over time, reduce the cost of college as well as to tax payers Then, of course, there is always the pay as you go method. There are ways to go through college without borrowing money but it takes more responsibility, more effort, more respect for what an education is. AND, if the story about college grads earning more the $650,000.00 during a life than non-grads... borrowing $150000.00 @ 6-7% (about $100,000.00 in interest) isn't a bad deal at all. Choices can be expensive.

    April 25, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Rudy NYC - 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.
    ===============================================================================================
    The REAL problem is an out of control federal government that wants to take over everything in sight. Why should our government be in the loan business? They have proven over and over on a daily basis they are financial imbeciles.

    Now Obama wants to add what could be a trillion in student loan debt to the federal books. Why? So he can use it to buy votes? He's advocated forgiving the loans. The federal goverment ALREADY forgives loans of federal employees to the tune of millions of dollars.

    All of this is nothing but another Obama re-election scam. Obama is nothing but a scam artist in almost everything he does.

    April 25, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Sniffit

    You want to bring it home for the GOP/Teatrolls? Here's how:

    Massive college and education debt is hurting white reproduction rates.

    Let that soak in for a minute.

    April 25, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "We need to show them otherwise!!! Stand tall and be proud. America's presidency IS NOT for sale!!!"

    Mitt Romney thinks it is. Just ask his advisers. And his "hired" lobbyists that go from one forum to another, trolling mindless Romney garbage.

    April 25, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Rudy NYC - The Obama administration is not seeking to "takeover" the student loan program. They are seeking to take the student loan program *back* from private banks, which George W. Bush inserted into the process through his "privatization" initiatives. Only 80% of money spent on student loans actually go to students. The rest goes to the banks. Call it corporate welfare.
    Through "privitization" students pay higher interest rates and have more rigid terms on their loans than before. The cost of loans is higher than ever before. We now have "corporate death panels" deciding who can get an education, and who cannot.
    ====================================================================================
    You're hilarious Rudy! You're actually trying to sell people the BS that the federal government does something better and cheaper than the private market?!! Please put the bottle down Bud. Your embarrassing yourself.

    April 25, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    John, PA wrote:

    The Democrats put the increase for interest rates on student load into law in 2007?
    ----------------
    Wrong. Bush signed the bill into law. The Bush-43 administration also created the entire issue by privatizing the student loan program in the first place.

    At the time, Republicans wanted the sunset date written into the law in order to raise the rates, which benefits the private banks administering the loans. Meanwhile Democrats wanted the lower rates for the benefit of the students. The current law was the compromise. It included what both sides wanted.

    April 25, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. NameBill

    Why doesn't Romney tell us what's in this "detailed plan" of his. He tells us he supports the Ryan plan which is a non-starter with students as well as senior citizens and the middle class.

    April 25, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. DAK2742

    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!!
    --------------------

    You're right and that's why this country was BOOMING under Bush. Wait a minute, it wasn't? We were loosing 700,000 jobs a month? We had 2 unfunded wars? We had Pharma and Part D, tax breaks and an exploding deficit? What happened to Republicans being the fiscal responsible ones then? Who was it said "Deficits don't matter." ? Sure wasn't a Democrat so go back to FOX News for your next lie.

    April 25, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Sniffit

    "You're actually trying to sell people the BS that the federal government does something better and cheaper than the private market?!! "

    You mean like Medicare running at 1.5%-3.0% overhead while private insurance companies are freaking out over the ACA limiting them to 20% overhead? You mean like that kind of "doing it better and cheaper"? Oh, I'm sorry, I seem to have spilled some truth all over your vintage ideological lies....

    April 25, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "I wonder if Romney even knows what is in the "RYAN PLAN???"

    He does. The answer is nothing. Not even Ryan can explain where his cuts would be coming from to pay for the tax cut. Ryan will not even way where he would cut the budget to "reduce government spending" before he has to make cuts to pay for his tax cut.

    April 25, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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