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President Obama Speaks with College Press

On August 28th President Obama embarked on a campaign tour through College’s and University’s across the country. While in Ames,Iowa the President took time to hold his first campus press call of the semester. The president made brief remarks before opening up for questions.

He began his remarks by reaffirming his belief that this election is a choice and that students play a critical role in deciding who the next president will be. He said, “The choice [young people] face could not be bigger or more consequential”. President Obama also addressed the notion that young people are discouraged and therefore won’t turn out with the same enthusiasm as they did in 2008. However, he didn’t believe that to be the case. He was optimistic the youth vote would turn out again this election cycle, because he has seen “the changes they have been able to bring about”. Changes such as a new tax cut that saves families up to $10,000 on their tuition over four years, doubling grant aid for millions of students, urging congress to keep student loan interest rates low and not doubling, ending the discriminatory policy of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, and passing health care reform making available preventative care to young women.

President Obama has charged the republicans of wanting to keep the youth turn out low saying, “frankly the other side’s strategy is to make young people so discouraged they choose to sit out this election.” He attacked Mr. Romney’s plan to create jobs of proposing another $250,000 tax cut for those making over three million dollars a year. “The fact is we have tried that approach for a decade and it didn’t work”, he said. The president went even further saying, “I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by raising taxes on the middle class or cutting financial aid to 10 million students. He described Mr. Romney’s plan as trickle down economics, but characterized his plan as, “middle out and bottom up economics where everybody is getting a fair shot”. The president concluded by framing the choice as he saw it.

In terms of health care the president said, “young people will be able to choose whether we go back to a health care system that lets insurance companies decide who to drop, and when, or whether we are going to move forward with the new health care law that’s already cutting cost, covering more people, and saving lives”. When it came to national security, war, and peace the president saw it as a choice between Mr. Romney not offering a plan on how to bring the war in Afghanistan to a close or his vision being “smart and secure”, and making sure that “veterans are served as well as they have served us”.

National polls continue to show the race for the White House between President Obama and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney to be tight and within the margin of error. Mitt Romney and his republican allies have just caped off their national convention in Tampa, Florida. The president and the democrats are set to gather in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just as it was for Mitt Romney, President Obama will have to sell the American people on his vision for America. In a close race such as this one it may be the youth vote that swings this election and both campaigns are doing everything they can to appeal to this crucial voting bloc.

*Photo Credit: President Obama @ UNC | Mehlam786,

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