Obama campaign targets Romney over student loans
April 25th, 2012
10:08 AM ET
11 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.”

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soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. hongli

    Jerry; I'm sorry but you do have a serious problem . Check in with your doctor and get a life.

    April 25, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. American

    Romney indeed supports the Ryan scheme, which cuts education while giving even more unaffordable tax cuts to the rich who do not need it.

    April 25, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. rob

    Lets see, Obama admin and the Dems set this up as a trap for the Repubs in Congress forcing them to accept more Govt spending in the name of "students". Romney comes out and supports it and immediately is called a cheap panderer. Typical Dem tactic, accuse your opponent of doing what you already do. The attempt to twist reality by the Dems this election will be fun to watch because even with the help of our pitifull media, the American voters will see through it.

    Nov. 6 can't come fast enough.

    April 25, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. rs

    Republicans have done everything at the state level to make higher education more expensive (and hence something only the rich can afford). In my home state of Arizona- a state whose constitution declares "higher education should be as close to free as possible", Republicans have cut the state's portion of support from over 80% in 1980 to less than 24% in 2011. Who pays for that? Answer: students, who have to take obscene loans from banks. Who profits? The banks.
    It is the same GOP at work that brought us the crash of '08.

    April 25, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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