October 26th, 2012
07:52 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama courts young voters in MTV interview

(CNN) - President Barack Obama courted younger voters on Friday by pointing to his support for cutting off federal financial aid to colleges whose students leave with high debt.

"We now have to go directly to the source - the colleges and universities - and say, you've got to work on cutting tuition," he told MTV in an interview.

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"And we're going to reward those schools that do a good job providing good value for their students while keeping tuition low, and we'll stop directing federal aid to those colleges and universities that are loading up their students with debt," the president said.

Obama has proposed using financial aid distributed by the federal government as a way to slow the quickly-rising costs of higher education.

He suggested students consider community college as an alternative to more expensive four-year college programs.

"Young people, if they want to get into being an electrician or get into a trade or train for a particular industry, they don't have to necessarily load up with a four-year college education," he said. "A two-year education may be the best value for them."

Average student loan debt for the graduating class of 2010 at four-year nonprofit colleges was $25,250, including all private and federal loans, according to the Institute for College Access & Success.

Some 35 million graduates have student loan debt, which at $904 billion nationwide, stands larger than outstanding credit card debt, figures show.

To attend an in-state public college for the 2012-13 academic year, the average overall cost for students who don't receive financial aid rose 3.8% to a record $22,261, according to College Board report out this week. Private schools were more expensive.

The White House interview was promoted as Obama's first this election cycle to focus exclusively on issues that matter to younger voters, a large portion of MTV's audience.

Questions ranged from education to gun control and culture.

Asked which artists are making the most significant impact on politics today, he said, "I think the most vibrant musical art form right now, over the last 10, 15 years, has been hip hop. And there have been some folks that have kinda dabbled in political statements but a lot of it has been more cultural than political."

"I'd like to see a more explicit discussion of the issues that are out there right now, because music is such a powerful mechanism," he said, recalling how Bob Marley had raised his awareness of "the struggles for jobs and dignity," as well as the music of the civil rights era and 1970s anti-war movement.

And the First Dad was asked what about his daughters growing up most concerned him - the driver's license, dating, or Facebook.

"I worry about Facebook," he said, because his daughter Malia "is well known. I'm very keen on her protecting her privacy."

"Dates, that's fine," he said. "She has secret service protection."

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. jackson

    You know, I never really thought about why Obama's school records are sealed until yesterday at the doctor's office I listened to the waiting room T.V. (MSNBC) and heard the pundits in full spin control – mocking, distracting, misdirecting – all the usual stuff. Why? Now I am wondering – and what do you know? So hard to find anything at the usual media sites. Curiouser and curiouser. Romney needs to release his tax returns and Obama needs to release his school records.

    October 26, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. LIP

    i've said it before and will say it again...he would make a better comedian than a President

    October 26, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. myviewis

    And why didn't Obama do this in these 4 years he's been President???? Typical Obama saying he will but he hasn't and another 4 years he won't.
    "And we're going to", "We now have to go directly to the source", "and we'll stop directing". Romney/Ryan will do it.

    October 26, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  4. Larry L

    When asked about the high cost of college tuition in the Primary election Romney blew-off the question. In the General Election's debates Romney supported lower costs for tuition but gave no specifics – nothing but fluffy generalities like all of his economic "vision". He was against keeping the cost of federally-insured student loans down. The pathological liar flip-flops on every-single-issue!

    October 26, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  5. Larry L

    Young people don't fall into the category of the modern Republican base of under-educated, intolerant, fearful bigots. Our future depends on leadership from individuals who "get it". Mitt Romney is nothing but George W. Bush 2.0. If you liked the crippling economy Bush left behind you should vote for Rob-Me and Lyin' Ryan. If you want to see America move to the next level of technology and create opportunities for all young people you'd best vote for Obama/Biden.

    October 26, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  6. What

    The economy is in shambles, our rights are being eroded away, and this is what the president finds important to do? Really?

    October 26, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  7. shawn

    The first President for all the People! gave a very personal view of the president and his values! good job President Obama! You have my 1+ vote coming from Pennsylvania! 20 electoral votes!

    October 26, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. J.R.

    Two good men running for president. However, my vote is with Romney, I want good jobs in the future. Let's go Mitt!

    October 26, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Ray E. (Georgia)

    My Grandaughter has just turned 18. Guess who she is not impressed with. Guess who she is voting for. You guessed it R and R.

    October 26, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. J.R.

    Really hope Romney wins!! I want a president who leads the country and doesn't campaign so much!! Go mitt!!

    October 26, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. VoteHimOut

    2% growth rate (lowest economic recovery ever since WWII)
    Staggering debt

    Come on America wake up. We can't afford 4 more years.

    October 26, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. Dave

    These young voters need to think about their future. They are already $50,000 in debt (based on their portion of the natoinal debt). The country will be bankrupt if spending continues as it is currently.

    October 26, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. Tyler

    This article doesn't mention one of the most interesting topics of the interview. When asked about gay marriage and if the federal government should defend it Obama was shameful. He said that even though he agrees with gay marriage that it should be handled at the state level. He said to legislate gay marriage at the federal level would not be the right course of action at this time. So those of you thinking he has your back when it comes to gay marriage can think again. He's punting the responsibility as he does so very well. NO backbone! He's trying to play to both sides of the argument and won't commit. What a politician!!!

    October 26, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. Mike

    President Obama is truly doing a fantastic job and has proven himself a strategic leader. His focus is on the middle class, students, teachers, and other service providers. He outclasses Romney in every way possible.

    October 26, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. kathy/Minnesota

    Has he ever offered specifics?

    October 26, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    October 26, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  17. daveogilvy47

    You're wasting your time, Mr. President. Didn't anyone in your campaign tell you that the only people who still watch MTV aren't old enough to vote anyway?

    October 26, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. Jane

    This guy is nothing more than empty talk. All the things he says he will do he should have done in the last 4 years. The Presidency is not a popularity contest; it is serious business. I just wonder who is running the country while he is out on the talk show circuit constantly. Something is amiss here.

    October 26, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  19. james d

    What a disgrace, he is so desperate he goes on a channel that people don't even watch anymore.

    The reason he wants their vote is because they are gullible.

    They do not enthusiastically follow the details of the issues, rather just go by what info is handed to them by the media.

    BTW, I am 19 and voting for Romney.

    October 26, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  20. Jasper Kujavsky

    Anderson, I enjoy your show, but I couldn't help but note you said President Obama's interview today with MTV was held in the Oval Office...in fact it was done in the White House's Blue Room...the room is oval in shape and has three large bay windows that make it resemble the Oval Office, but it is in the main mansion, not the West Wing...

    October 26, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  21. Name Kacey Smith

    Why would anybody vote for Obama, he has not accomplished anything in the last four years, why would you give him 4 more!!!! Health care, has anybody really looked at Obamacare, senior citizens should be concerned, they want to knock you off first. Sounds harsh, read the facts, America needs to educate yourself on who stands for what. Obama clearly wants to decimate Capitalism. I'm not any better off than I was 4 years ago. Obamas slogan Forward he has taken us backwards the last 4 he has been in office. Growing government dependencey won't help anything!!

    October 26, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  22. Fortinbras

    Hey! Mitt is out and about trying to look presidential... ... LOL! Mitt looks presidential? LoL! So he decided to start looking presidential... Hey, Mitt, you dont go from lying used car salesman to presidential in a few short weeks! You cant just decide you are going to have charisma, trust, and respect from one day to the next. It only worked Reagan because he already HAD charisma. And you are no Ronald Reagan. Your base doesnt like you or trust you. They are just desperately taking their chances with you. Im sure you have noticed they dont really care about what you do or say anymore. You could be Dracula, for all they care at this point!

    October 26, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  23. Lol

    Don't worry about jobs kids, vote for the "cool" guy! Be COOL! Yeah, free stuff baby! 4 more years of fail.

    October 26, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  24. beechwood1

    I'm pretty much an Obama supporter. HOWEVER, i think its VERY SHALLOW for the president to be going to all the talk shows, the view, Leno, MTV, UNAVISION.. The man is making a mockery of the office, HE's turning into a popularity contest, doing anything to retain power like the worst of the republicans. The attention span of people that watch these shows is infitismal. He might get relected but historically he won't be considered much of a great president, somewhere just above his predecessor, which is pretty darn Low. He voluntarily ran for Prez and he should respect the office and stop running around without a suit, HE is the most powerful man in the world, he is not the average common man. His job is to proudly be the president of the United States and never demean the position.

    October 26, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  25. nkotbsbracefan

    So, when will Gov. Rommney make his MTV 'Rock The Vote' debut?

    October 26, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
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