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. AZ girl

    Whether you are Dem or Rep, anything that gets the 18-24 year olds out of their bubble is OK by me. However they vote, engage them Mr. President, engage them.

    October 26, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  2. Al

    Obama has to court the younger people that still watch MTV or VH1, for the more wiser people know that the next 4 years if Obama is re-elected will be more of the last 4 years so if our Debt today is 16 TRILLION, you can call it 25 TRILLION if there is repeat of Obama. So when those that Obama hurt with his policies know what he's all about he has to go to those that don't have a clue of what Obama is about to get their vote.

    October 26, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  3. Bryansco

    These MTV youth will vote for Obama because the likes of Katy Perry, Jay-Z and Beyounce endorses Obama and they will think it is cool! What a joke.

    October 27, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  4. Roland

    Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith
    Death Before Dishonor

    October 27, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  5. Harry

    Dang shame this man is using his last year of being pres to be on a never ending audition instead of the job he promised

    October 27, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  6. J. Bastien

    I think education tuitoin is a little bit too high, so what we need to do as students is go out there let our voices heard by going out and vote.

    October 27, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  7. steve

    courting MTV?
    he's not courting much
    they are more concerned with drugging it, getting pregnant and being useless to society

    October 27, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  8. cruzctrl03

    You know what the funny thing about this election is: if Romney is elected and can’t delivery on his promise of “bigger and better change” for the next four years or worse; he and his campaign bring back Bush policies from the past that favored the rich, it will be difficult to regain America’s trust. It’s likely that the survival of the Republican Party rest on his shoulders, if he doesn’t delivery. Today’s politics are so complex and the bickering that goes on between both parties does not help the American people. Four years regardless of who is in office is not enough to get us back on track. After eight years of Bush politics, I don’t want to take that chance. If you appreciate integrity, equality, and forthright leadership then reelect President Obama; he has been there for the women, veterans, blue collar workers, the minority voices of this nation. He has been there for retirees, the sick and the elderly; this is the majority of America.

    October 27, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  9. John Adams

    BENGHAZI CIA operators were denied request for help three times. He knew and our brave men were left to die ! shame on all you who bury this story

    October 27, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  10. Danile6

    MTV-Nickelodeon--Pimp with a limp--time for them but no time for an address to the American people on why he let our ambassador die ???

    October 27, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  11. hangar13

    While the mainstream media remains in full coverup mode over the deepening but largely unreported Benghazi scandal, the President engages in hard-hitting interviews on MTV, Leno, The View, etc. Israeli PM asks for an in-person meeting but the President is too busy, instead carving out time for Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Letterman. Four Americans die while the White House spins phony excuses; the President can't worry about it, instead taking Air Force One to Las Vegas for a fund-raiser with his Hollywood allies. Clint Eastwood's routine at the GOP Convention looked foolish, but in retrospect, he seems to have hit the nail on the head. The nation is desperate for a leader, and we can get one in 10 days if enough people wake up.

    October 27, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  12. Ed

    "Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country can give you for free."

    October 27, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  13. Sandra

    Obama is concerned about the future of children and cutting expenses so that each child can equally achieve their future goals. Romney only cares about business and how he and his buddies can reap the benefits even if it means slashing jobs from the middle class and poor.

    October 27, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. LS

    Let's stick with the cool guy with the honest smile. I don't want to look at the other guy with the pathetic grimace and the wildly dishonest schtick.

    October 27, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  15. njbchicago

    He is desperate now.

    October 27, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  16. Anonymous

    I have a question...Let's say you spent 8 years studying with a guy named George; but every time you took a test, you got an F. Then, this guy named Barry came along and said "If you study with me, I will get you an A"; but, you ended up with a B.

    Then, a third guy named Mitt came along and said, "I use the same study methods as George did. And since Barry only got you a B, you should stick with me and go back to George's method." What would you do?

    My Answer: Stick with Barry. Vote for President Obama!

    October 27, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  17. Rickd

    Obama has all but won the required electoral votes in all polls, and based on early voting he is winning big in the popular vote.
    Thank you Republicans in Congress, Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck. You all helped defeat Republicans, by showing who they really are, and what your horrible vision is for America. All those millions did not die in WW2, just to replace Nazi Germany with an American version of the same thing.
    The stock markets in Europe has calmed down, now that they realize America will not be the next Nazi Germany. In fact the entire world is breathing a sigh of relief now.

    October 27, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  18. rla

    Did you explain BENGAZI to them?????

    October 27, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  19. outawork

    note to Mr. Obama – nobody watch MTV anymore.

    October 27, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Voter

    The best thing anyone can do is make an informed decision and not by believing politicians. Politicians, and their campaigns, put out a lot of disinformation and out and out lies to try and sway your vote. Sure you can listen to them but please check the facts yourself.

    October 27, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. bcrunner

    Let's see Romney pitch to the youth.... He does not know how to communicate to them just like he does not know how to communicate to the middle class.. They will run him out of town...

    October 27, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  22. zisee

    Obama, don't you think you should be figuring out what happened in Libya instead of being on MTV. Four men were murdered

    October 27, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. gep1955

    Most of Obama's campaign stops have been colleges. They are the only crowd left that hear his lies and just don't know any better. They are not out in the world yet having to live day to day with the economic disaster that his leftist policies have wrought on the country. 2 weeks folks, we can turn this around.

    October 27, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Kathy Smith

    Real insight. Such depth. Aren't college kids interested in more than the cost of college? Way to dumb it down, Mr. Prez. Tough interview. Riveting questions.

    October 27, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  25. Guest

    he has to court the young because most of them haven't a clue about paying the bills.

    October 27, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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