Student loans: Romney, congressional GOP race to embrace students (+video)
As President Obama puts a spotlight on student loans, Mitt Romney says that he, too, supports extending the 3.4 percent interest rate – and blames the president for poor job prospects for college graduates.
College students may not have quite joined motherhood and apple pie in the pantheon of bulletproof American icons quite yet – but the speed at which Republicans raced to join Democrats in talking about college education (and young voters) suggests that the political apotheosis of the college student is well on its way.Skip to next paragraph
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Democrats can take credit for putting the national spotlight on the issue of federally subsidized student loans, whose interest rates are set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent at the beginning of July. President Obama’s campaign has been shining its bright light on the issue since last Friday, an emphasis that coincides with the president’s trips to universities in North Carolina and Colorado Tuesday and a college stop in Iowa Wednesday.
Republicans, who may sense a chance to chip away at Mr. Obama’s massive advantage among young voters from 2008, weren’t going to be left behind. On Monday, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney said he supported an extension of the lower loan rates.
But, as is the wont of both political parties, simply agreeing with one’s opponent is simply not enough. So the GOP knew what to do when the Associated Press published a report showing that nearly 50 percent of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that the piece revealed the “Sad reality of Obamanomics” – that “young Americans are learning there aren’t jobs for them after graduation.” House majority leader Eric Cantor chimed in similarly. And Rep. Tom Graves (R) of Georgia took to Twitter to wonder, “will they vote for Obama in 2012?” given such poor employment figures.