While speaking to a crowd of cheering college students at the University of Colorado in Boulder Tuesday, President Obama singled out Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) for recent comments she made about student loans.
“I have very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that,” Rep. Foxx said in a radio interview.
“We live in an opportunity society and people are forgetting that. I remind folks all the time that the Declaration of Independence says ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ You don’t sit on your butt and have it dumped in your lap,” she added.
Rep. Foxx’s comments offered the president an opportunity to contrast his newfound concern for struggling college students with fiscally minded Republican and Tea Party candidates.
“I want to read a quote. This is from a Republican congresswoman. I didn’t really understand this. I’m quoting her,” the president said.
“She said that she has ‘very little tolerance for people who tell me they graduate with debt…because there’s no reason for that.’ She said, students who rack up student loan debt are just sitting on their butts, having opportunity ‘dumped in your lap.’”
“You guys can Google her or what have you,” President Obama added.
Watch the president go after Rep. Foxx at the 7:40 mark (via 9News.com):
“Think about that. I can tell you, Michelle and I, we didn’t take out loans because we were lazy. You didn’t take out loans because you’re lazy,” President Obama said. “You did it because the cost of college kept on going up, and you’re trying to graduate.”
He continued, turning his not-a-campaign speech into an all-out critique of his Republican opponents:
And if [Republicans] were serious about making college more affordable, then they wouldn’t be voting to cut financial aid in their – their budget, if you look at their budget, what it means is you’re going to be cutting aid for 10 million college students by an average of more than $1,000. They certainly wouldn’t let student rates double overnight if they really cared about this issue.
They say that, well, we’ve got to do it because we’ve got to bring down the deficit.
Now, first of all, these guys ran up the deficit. Remember, these are the same folks who voted in favor of two wars without paying for it, and big tax cuts without paying for it. They just voted to keep billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies who are raking in record profits.
They just voted to let millionaires and billionaires keep paying low tax rates — lower tax rates than middle-class workers. They just voted to give an average tax cut of at least $150,000 to the wealthiest Americans — folks like me who don’t need it, weren’t asking for it.
And the way they pay for it is to cut things like education and job training that give students opportunities to work and succeed.
So they can’t be too serious about deficits.
It should be noted that earlier that day, while not-campaigning in North Carolina, President Obama used the same Congresswoman to make the same point.
“Now, can you imagine saying something like that? Those of you who’ve had to take out student loans, you didn’t do it because you’re lazy,” the president said.
“You didn’t do it lightly. You don’t like debt.”
(H/T: Washington Examiner)