A few months ago, Governor Romney told a crowd of young people, just like you, that if you want to be successful, if you want to go to college or you want to start a business, then you can just—and I’m quoting here—“borrow money if you have to from your parents.”
My parents didn’t have a lot of money to lend me. I bet a bunch of your parents don’t have a lot of money to lend. It’s not because they don’t want to—they don’t have it.
When a high school student asked Governor Romney what he would do to make college more affordable for families, Governor Romney didn’t say anything about grants or loan programs that have helped millions of students earn a college education. He didn’t say anything about work-study programs, or rising college tuition. He did not say a single word about community colleges, or how important higher education is to America’s economic future. Here’s what he said: “The best thing I can do for you is to tell you to shop around.” To shop around.
So this is his plan. That’s his answer to a young person hoping to go to college—shop around and borrow money from your parents if you have to.
Now, that’s not an answer … Not only is it not a good answer, it’s not even an answer. There is nothing a parent wants to do more than to give their kids opportunities that we never had. There are very few things more painful than a parent not being able to do it.
But we’re still fighting back from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. There are a lot of parents out there who are working really hard but still struggling to make ends meet. And I do not accept the notion that we should deny their children the opportunity of a higher education and a brighter future just because their families were hard hit by a recession.
—President Obama speaking at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada
Learn more about the difference between President Obama and Mitt Romney when it comes to putting education within reach for more students and their families.