Romney camp: Why we will get the young people
April 24th, 2012
12:37 PM ET
11 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. Ann

    Mittens campaign strategy is as dumb and as lame as he is. Fancy following the President around. As one other blogger said yesterday – that is like follow the leader. I relly think that Mitt Romney really admires President Obama and that is why he studies him as much and copies his campaign strategy from 2008. The GOP admires Mr. Obama as well as they often refer to the "Obama campaign machine" but of course they cannot admit to it.

    April 24, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Good Lord Sniffit! Doublethink!! I'm going to have to revisit Orwell.
    This term not only describes Romney but most right-wing bloggers on this site, and almost all politicians with an {R} next to their name ( or a Tea).
    Excellent my friend, right up there with CONFABULATE!

    April 24, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Wake up people

    Where are those tax records and school transcripts MITTENS? I am willing to bet money he was never more than a C-minus student. Fair is fair and President Obama was raked over the coals by the combover king to show his birth certificate while all of the rethugs just sat back. Come on Mittens, run that birth certificate, those transcripts and the tax returns! What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Whatcha scared of Mittens? The people already know you're a liar and change positions like most people change their underwear. Come on Mittens, you're applying for the highest job in the land. Shouldn't you have to prove yourself too? Or is that ONLY because President Obama is black?

    OBAMA 2012!

    April 24, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. GI Joe


    Oh - that's so they can give subsidies to oil companies.

    By cutting social security and medicare? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Oh - that's so they can cut taxes by 20%.

    Yep -- he'll get young and old - when those pigs with lipstick fly.

    April 24, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Tim

    Willard will not garner younger peoples votes because most young people don't trust car salesmen.

    April 24, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. CaliforniaBC

    Oh yeah.... 'cause Mitt is SOoooooo relatable to young people... WHAT??

    April 24, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. julie

    @woman in crack me up, and you speak the truth

    April 24, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Thanks Julie.

    April 24, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Well said. My son's are under 30 and they know a con artist when they see one (Willard).

    Howard wrote:

    How could Romney get the youth vote, when Obama has been brainwashing our youth, and pandering to teachers, and left wing Professors, for the past 3 1/2 years. Obama has shamefully exploited the naive, gullible, inexperienced, idealism of our young people. He has no scruples. All he cares about is getting reelected.

    There are many young people out there who I'm sure love the fact you are calling them naive, gullible, inexperienced in THEIR idealism and will show your party the door in 2012. Get ready.

    April 24, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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