Clinton, Sanders to share stage in New Hampshire to talk student debt

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will attempt to shore up support among younger voters by appearing with former rival Bernie Sanders to discuss her plan to ease college's financial burden.

Mike Segar/Reuters/File
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton talk over each other during the Democratic presidential candidates debate at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, in February. The pair are set to return to UNH on Wednesday to promote Clinton's proposals for reducing student debt.

When Hillary Clinton speaks in New Hampshire on Wednesday, she'll take the stage alongside her former opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. 

The Democratic nominee and Senator Sanders are joining forces for an afternoon rally and discussion on college affordability, the Clinton campaign announced in an email. The pair are scheduled to "discuss their shared belief that cost should not be a barrier for anyone who chooses to go to college, and student debt should not hold Americans back after they leave school," according to local ABC affiliate WMUR 9. 

The joint appearance comes as Mrs. Clinton, who has struggled to win over Sanders's millennial fanbase, makes an intensified push to appeal to young voters. Efforts in recent weeks include an interview with comedian Zach Galifianakis on his spoof talk show "Between Two Ferns," and an op-ed to millennial voters for Mic, a website aimed at young readers.

"The Millennial generation is a key voting bloc in this election, and it’s clear that the campaign must do more to earn their vote," said the Clinton campaign's communication director, Jennifer Palmieri, in a statement last week. 

Part of that effort is a focus on college affordability, one of the signature aspects of Sanders's platform. In July, Clinton released a revised education plan proposing free tuition at in-state, four-year, public colleges and universities by 2021 for families with annual incomes under $125,000, and immediate free tuition for families with annual incomes under $85,000. 

"[E]veryone who wants to go to college should be able to without drowning in debt," Clinton wrote in her op-ed for Mic last week. "That's why I worked with Sen. Bernie Sanders to design a plan that will let everyone attend college debt-free." 

In New Hampshire, where Wednesday's rally will be held, Sanders won the Democratic presidential primary over Clinton by a margin of 60 percent to 38 percent. Recent polls shows Clinton leading Donald Trump in New Hampshire by an average margin of 43 percent to 38 percent. 

Mr. Trump, the Republican nominee, has said less about college affordability. Last week, he said that if elected he would work with lawmakers to tie federal funding and tax breaks for colleges and universities to a "good faith" commitment by those institutions to lower tuition costs. 

"If universities want access to all of these federal tax breaks and tax dollars paid for by you, they have to make good faith efforts to reduce the cost of college," Trump said at a rally near Philadelphia on Thursday. 

In a four-way matchup that includes Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Clinton currently has the support of 31 percent of voters under the age of 35, compared to Trump's 26 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll published September 14. 

This report contains material from Reuters and the Associated Press. 

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