President Barack Obama turned his campaign theme to education Tuesday in a continuing effort to underscore his differences with his Republican opponents.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio, Obama said that education would be fundamental to the nation's future success - a theme the president has repeatedly touched on during his term.
"Now, more than ever, your success is America's success, because when we invest in your future we're investing in America's future," Obama told the crowd of more than 3,000, many of whom were students. "The fact is that countries that out-educate us today, they'll be able to out-compete us tomorrow."
Noting that many of the jobs of the future would require post-high school education and training, Obama said the nation needs to do more to ensure higher education remains affordable.
"I can tell you, with some experience, that making higher education more affordable for our young people -- it's something I've got a personal stake in," he said. "We've been there and we know that unless you provide those rungs on the ladder of opportunity, young people who are more talented than we are may not get a shot. That's why I've made it a top priority of my presidency."
By contrast, Obama said that his Republican opponent Mitt Romney did not seem to make college affordability a big priority. Obama quoted Romney as saying that students or those hoping to start a business should, "borrow money if you have to from your parents."
"When a high school student in Youngstown asked him what he would do to make college more affordable for families like his, Governor Romney didn't say anything about grants or loan programs that are critical to millions of students to get a college education," Obama said. "He said nothing about work-study programs or rising college tuition. … He said, the best thing you can do is shop around."
Obama added, "That's it. That's his plan. That's his answer to young people who are trying to figure out how to go to college and make sure that they don't have a mountain of debt -- shop around and borrow more money from your parents."
Obama also sought to contrast his record of providing additional funding for student grants and loans with Romney's plan, which the president said would make deep cuts in investments in education.
"It would cut those grants so deeply that 1 million of those students who we have helped would no longer get a scholarship at all. It would cut financial aid for nearly 10 million students a year," Obama said of Romney's plan. "Governor Romney is proposing these cuts to pay for a new $5 trillion tax cut that's weighted towards the wealthiest Americans."
He added, "Does that sound like a better plan for America? Does that sound like a better plan for you?"
Obama said that Romney's entire economic vision was one that seems to offer no help for students struggling to improve their lives in favor of protections for the already wealthy.
"His economic plan makes one thing clear: He does not think investing in your future is worth it," Obama said of Romney. "He doesn't think that's a good investment."
Obama added, "I do. That's what's at stake in this election. That's the choice in November."
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org