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. Mark

    Mitt agreeing with President Obama? That will not get you the young people's vote, Mitt. Can Mitt say "desperate'"

    April 24, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. livingston

    Two words describe Romney – EPIC FAIL!

    April 24, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. GenY

    We've all made our decisions already. Sorry Mitt. Sorry Barack. Stop wasting time, money, energy, space, fuel, etc.

    April 24, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. MTATL67

    How does the GOP plan to woo young people who have friends and family that are gay, when the GOP is anti-gay. How does the GOP woo young people who have friends from many races, when the GOP has no respect for minorities. How can the GOP woo a young women when the GOP does not believe that she deserves equal pay in the work force or does not have the right to control her own body......YEAH GOOD LUCK.

    April 24, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Independant Jack

    Vote for Robney and you get a destroyed middleclass,healthcare for seniors cut,womens rights under attack,and last but not least robney believes in the mormon magical underwear,google it and tell me thats not scary to have a man in the oval office that believes in mormon magic underwear that can never be taken off roflllllllllllllll

    April 24, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. gg

    like romney and the other1% say as long as there are wars to fight we will need a middle class

    April 24, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Once again we see the standard Republican MO at work here. They work to persuade voters and change their opinions, instead of mounting voter regisration drives.

    April 24, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    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?

    Yes. The Osmond Brothers will be out there trying to woo the younger voters with their bright teeth and fancy clothes....FAIL

    April 24, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Maxx

    Yeah, Mitt is so hip young people are driven to him. Another day, another demographic the republicans need to "shore up". Give it up, you've lost the young, women, hispanic and black vote and you ain't gettin' it back. Of course, the angry white males and the 1% are your base.

    April 24, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Josh

    I'll tell you what Mitt, I'm 18 and you will never get my support! FLIP FLOP ROMNEY..... How could anyone trust you?

    April 24, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. kathy

    Mittens come on im a 60 year old mother,grandmother and great grandmother, you cant just lie to young people and think all of the sudden they will accept it as truth.They are by nature our most skeptical jewels,THEY ARE NOT STUPID!!!!! you embrace the paul ryan budget as MARVELOUS and then you agree with the President on student loans/grants? come on, you can not have it both ways, you either care or you dont, and my grandkids totally see right through you and your fake,phony sinister chuckle.It's not gonna work and more than likely will backfire like a lies do.Take your wife and go walk around paris.

    April 24, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. John


    Give me a break please. You will not get the young vote. get real

    April 24, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Taylor

    Sorry unfit Mitt you will not get the young vote and am one of those voters..............only vote you will get is the 1% if you get others votes than they are foolish. No one beleives in you because you are not real. Feel Me.......

    April 24, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. CitizenAJ

    The students maybe not be finding jobs right away due to this economy, no President's fault, but at least they can still be covered on their parents health insurance, and that is President Obama's fault. It is a good fault, because otherwise, the jobless students and/or their parents would be paying out of pocket for medical attention. At least the President had forsight to pass the Affordable Health Care Act so young adults CAN be covered if need be.

    April 24, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Woman In California

    Liar. Not only will the president RETAIN the young people of this country he will get the elderly votes as well as they will find out during the debates (provided Willard shows up) this man is only in this for his ego. I seriously think he needs to see a psychiatrist or someone to help him overcome his obsession with lying. Bottom line: Willard is a creep by any definition and should not be allowed ANYWHERE near the White House.

    April 24, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. dave

    If they want to be part of the 1%, they simply need to work harder.

    April 24, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. rosaadriana

    Young people? Only if you count anyone over 60.

    April 24, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. NotFooledByDistractions

    I don't see much sincerity in Willards agreement on student loan rates – it looks more like pandering by a desperate man. Then again, I find romney so untrustworthy that I wouldn't believe him if he told me the sky was blue.

    But once again, this is just more of Williard speaking out of the OTHER side of his mouth. Just recently, when questioned about the cost of college education, romneys solution was to shop around and look for the lowest price. that's not a solution, that's a dodge. But, it's a typical romney non-answer.

    April 24, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota


    Mitt agreeing with President Obama?

    Having now agreed with President Obama, Romney will not be doing any follow up sessions. It's enough for TeamRomney that he got his "message" out to all the young people, who will now no doubt flock to his side, thus "young people concerns" now becomes (in their minds anyway) a discussion no longer necessary.

    April 24, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. Bryan

    This is funny stuff, really.

    April 24, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Bill in Jax

    Young people break for the rich wall street banker Romney? I think not. Romney isn't even in touch with the average middle aged American, and he thinks he can reach out to us young people? EPIC FAIL!

    April 24, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Newmoon2

    Romney may be younger than McCain, but more dynamic? Really? R2D2 has more 'personality' than Romney! Mitt comes across like a not-very-good actor playing the role of a presidential candidate! He looks stiff and poorly rehearsed!

    April 24, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. ditty1991

    are you drawing crowds over 4000 on college campus' mitt? LOLOLOL

    April 24, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Mikey

    The worst thing that has happened to young Americans is the Grate Bush/GOP Great Recession that resulted from the application of "Trickle Down" economics, huge tax breaks, two wars, and cripling regulatory oversight. Mitt wants to do a redo of the Bush economic plan, or perhaps even worse, the Ryan plan, which is Bush-conomics on steriods.

    JUST SAY NO to the massively idiotic supply side, trickle down economics that produced three of the worst downturns of the last 100 years, the Regan-Bush recession of 1990, the Bush Great Recession of 2007, and the Great Depression after the supply side roaring 20's. How dumb does the GOP think the American people are?

    April 24, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Mittens, the living, breathing avatar of doublethink, in George Orwell's words:

    "The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth."

    April 24, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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