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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"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. Mike from Tx

    The youth can thank him for doubling the national debt in 3 1/2 years, and taking it to 102% of GDP.
    The President didn't create the recession nor did he work to prevent a recovery. The huge increase in debt was a direct result of loss of productivity and revenue from the worst economic downturn in over 30 years. The stimulus spending prevented an economic disaster of unprecedented proportions. It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback after somebody else cleaned up your mess. Remember Bush? Remember his cut & spend economy? Romney has the same plan – but gives us no specifics. He and Lyin' Ryan are lap dogs for the fat cats – nothing more.


    Seriously, kiddos. People seem to forget all together what mess Bush has created. I only feel bad for Obama because he actually cared about his people and the welfare of this country but the ripples from Bush tenure will tarnish Obama's legacy.

    October 27, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. becky

    Do you believe that Mr. Romney will bring jobs back to the USA after he helped to send them to China and other countries? What jobs will he produce? The jobs are many of his merged companies paid less, had fewer benefits, and offered part time jobs so that benefits were not included. Sure would like to hear how will produce these jobs and how he accounts for his actions where jobs were either sent overseas and or eliminated period.

    October 27, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. gm

    Why has everyone forgotten the statements made by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner after the last election (the only job the republicans have now is to make sure that Obama will not get re-elected) This is why congress has not been able to get any thing done. Congress is the real Problem here not Obama

    October 27, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. leukevent

    Romney is a slime-ball who will say anything to get elected with a lot of former George W. Bush associates as advisors and he's talking about real change? C'mon people!

    Vote Obama / Biden 2012. If Romney wins there are those who are salivating and chomping-at-the-bit for another opportunity to rape and pillage for the almighty dollar and think about little else other than their own position, that Romney’s policies will unleash and permit to exploit again!

    The rape, pillage allusion refers to the actions and resulting condition our economy was left in after George W's run in office! You know, where tens and hundreds of millions were made by a relatively small percentage of folks while a 'vastly larger number' lost their pensions, saw life savings shrivel-up and home values plummet; all while having to dance to the tune of the reckless, greedy Wall Street, Bain Capital, Uber-Capitalist types and their allies in Congress!

    It is this unmitigated morass and mess that President Obama has been trying to navigate and rectify with zero, I repeat, zero Republican support throughout his entire term in office. For those in the 99% voting for Romney, it will be the 2nd greatest mistake middle-class America has made since voting George W. Bush in for another term in office in 2004, should Romney be elected!

    October 27, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Ken

    I don't understand how you can advocate for a Romney plan when are there are just barely any details to it. So please, before you start lecturing of how the youth should just vote for Romney, give us a credible plan that Romney will actually stick with for more than a week.

    October 27, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Election Watcher

    If lying Romney and that nutjob congressman get elected it's going to be interesting and also very scary to watch the U.S.A. self destruct. Just sayin.

    October 27, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Nick

    Attempted to view this yet the his epic failure in Benghazi and the deaths of four American's which included a war hero and Ambassador and his lack of concern for them kept resonating in my mind. How could a Commander in Chief betray those he put in harms way then try to show concern for our youth. Shameful

    October 27, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Butch Bakers

    Candidate Obama stated in 2008: "The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years, is to take out a CREDIT CARD from the bank of China IN THE NAME OF OUR CHILDREN, driving up our NATIONAL DEBT from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back; $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic." (Watch it on YouTube.)

    "Today I am pledging to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office," – Barack Obama – Feb. 23, 2009
    (Watch it on YouTube.)

    Obama is the first President to have 2 consecutive TRILLION dollar deficits.

    Obama is the first President to have 3 consecutive TRILLION dollar deficits.

    Obama is the first President to have 4 consecutive TRILLION dollar deficits.

    According to Obama's own words above, Obama is irresponsible and unpatriotic.

    Knowing this, how can anyone vote for Obama? He misled us unlike any other Presidential candidate ever. How are we ever going to pay this off?

    Obama's 2012 economic budget was voted down 414-0 in the House and 99-0 in the Senate. Obama is radical. How much worse can it get?

    Eight pages of Romney's job plan: mittromney dot com/jobsplan It's not what Obama says it is.
    Read it for yourself.

    October 27, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. EJ

    It is mind boggling how easily it is to mis-lead some people. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are two of the biggest scammers I have seen in politics for a very very long time. They are clearly attempting to use race to pump-up and brainwash their supporters into believeing they are good for them and that Obama has fail. They continue to support these two even after Romney told them he does not care about them and they continue to buy into the lie this president has fail even after watching the GOP block his efforts for months on end. Given this it is clear how people elect politicians like Bush and Cheney who end up screwing up the economy. This president has not been a failure – this president has been hindered......

    October 27, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. dontwantmyMV

    does anyone over 18 actually watch MTV? irrelevant channel

    October 27, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. cbp

    It is far better for the youth to hear what the President has to say on MTV than to listen to the racist remarks of John Sununu or the ridiculously obscene remarks by Ann Coulter or the outrageous remarks of Donald Trump which are being reported in the Ticker. These are totally offensive and there are dozens more people who continually write and make remarks about the President and the First Lady. Some people just never have accepted that a black man could become President of the United States. I would applaud the President for going on MTV.

    October 27, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Vanessa

    @beechwood1.. It' s called UNIVISION & it's actually very important to us the hispanic that he goes & talk to us.. As u can see our president has our vote. Our president cares unlike Mr Romney whom decided to paint his face brown when he gave the interview to Jorge Ramos.. Offensive & yet very funny! He looked ridiculous by the way.. Consistently he has shown he lacks morals, integrity.. We see for what he is a flip floper & a fake! Web' ll stand proudly behind our president! Fired up& ready to vote, fired up& ready to vote!! Hispanics 4 obama/Biden!

    October 27, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Brian

    As I listen to him talk, I hear the book "Animal Farm" coming to life.

    October 27, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Ed1

    First off, I love Jeeps. I drove a blue stick-shift Jeep in high school and dream of one day owning another one (pre-bailout edition) of course. President Obama has based a large portion of his re-election campaign on the auto-bailout which has resonated with many voters in Ohio, a state Mitt Romney needs to win. However, due to burdonsome regulations, high taxes and the overall high cost of manufacting in the United States, Jeep (owned by Chrysler) production may be shipped overseas to China.

    Chrysler: repaid $9.2 billion, fulfilling its debt obligations to the U.S. and Canadian governments, and is now owned by Italian automaker Fiat (58.5%) and a health care trust for UAW retirees (41.5%). Overall, taxpayers lost $1.3 billion on the Chrysler bailout. In full recovery mode, Chrysler is currently the fastest-growing carmaker in the world.

    On another note 70% of the growth for GM comes from China bet there are no union jobs there. Where is UAW when you need them not in China our bailout tax dollars at work.

    October 27, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. ThinkNow

    Mitt's Agenda for America
    (The real 5 point plan)
    Get elected any way possible
    Finish what Bush started
    Bankrupt the country
    Liquidate assets
    Complete Corporate Takeover of America

    October 27, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Eric

    The POTUS and I are the same age, and were in our 2nd or 3rd of undergrad when Reagan outsourced student loan servicing to the banks, and allowed the industry to lobby away the ability to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy court. The POTUS reversed the first part, but look what happened over thirty years; high student loan debt. We need more help for students...

    October 27, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Charles

    He's appealing to the hip hop community saying – I gave you easy welfare now give me your vote....You know what I'm sayin yo?

    October 27, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. gctwnl

    The guys gives an honest answer and makes a joke. And then people react that 'he doesn't understand them'. Unbelievable. Maybe take a step back and chill?

    October 27, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. PhoenixTom

    So who is Benghazi? What club does he DJ at?

    October 27, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Archer

    YAWN... what's he doing on MTV? talking about global warming? we have a President who believe he is a 'rock star'.. and wants that rock star status.. jetting setting to this talk show and that talk show... shouldnt he GO TO WORK SOME TIME AND LEAD? INSTEAD of always campaigning and 'desiring the cheers and screams from those who 'worship' him ?? its time to LEAD... NOT BEEF UP YOUR ROCK STAR STATUS.. he wants that.. he needs to move to Dollywood... he'll fit right in there..

    October 27, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Lot's of conservatives whining today. They must be not be expecting things to go well in ten days.

    October 27, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. mark ducharme

    I find it hilarious that some dude named joe up top thinks the older folk are the ones not informed. maybe we are not up to date on the new morality but that doesn't mean we are uniformed. We just thnk many young people and the new morality if for the birds. I'm pretty sure it's the young who are still clueless. Just like when we were young. We knew it all then too. LOL

    October 27, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. FUZZ

    People who watch MTV/BET are idiots. These are the same people that run around saying "YOLO"

    October 27, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Tim

    I think we have seen what we get when we ask our college attending popuatio to select a leader. Based on the last four years, they are not selecting for the right reasons. Now, interesting enough the majority of students are under the care and guidence and support of others. Anybody with a brain cell would expect them to vote democratic as they are convinced such care as they currently receive from others will then continue well into and through adult hood. I think it is best for us all to teach our young people their responsibility to society is to build personal wealth in order that they are able help others. I wonder how this would compare against teaching our children that others will always be there to take care of them? Hmmmm....college students voting patterns may be an indication of what they expect and will be- will they be a Kennedy Democrat (ask not....) or a Obama Democrat (ask for...) ? Thankfully the republican college student population is growing. There needs to be some balance.

    October 27, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Robin

    It's really smart of Obama to go on these celebrity interviews. That way he can continue to avoid the questions as he did in Denver about denying help to our people in Libya when they requested it three times. I'm sure the questions from MTV were much easier to answer. Romney/Ryan!

    October 27, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
1 2 3 4 5