tv News Nation MSNBC April 25, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
over the heads of millions. iowa is the president's third stop on this big tour, but it will also give the president his first public chance to take a shot at mitt romney after the gop's presumptive nominee's fiery speech following tuesday's primary results. i am tamron hal. we begin with breaking news, the supreme court takes on arizona's controversial immigration law. several justices strongly suggested they're ready to up hold some of the toughest parts of the law including the requirement that police check the immigration status of people they think are in this country illegally. after today's arguments the governor reiterated they are stance that arizona had a right to protect its sit sdplens by enacting the law. >> i am very encouraged what we all were able to view today and hear. i thought that the hearing went very, very well. i feel very confident as i walked out of there we will get
a favorable ruling in late june. >> joining me justice correspondent pete williams who is outside the court chambers. pete, let me get better insight into why jan brewer was confident. she was asked to give specifics by the reporters and didn't layout a lot there. >> the obama administration had argued that arizona would flood the system with all kinds of questions about immigration status, upsetting a federal priority to concentrate only on the most dangerous immigrants, those that committed crimes and potential terrorists, and the justices weren't buying that and seemed to accept arizona's representation that all that happens is people would ont be detained by police if they have other reason to pick them un, traffic stop or offense and secondly all the mr. is would do is call the federal fwoft and say do you want to hold this person or not and if they say no they would let them go. the justices didn't seem to see much of a problem with that. undiscussed here, the justices spent very little time on two other provisions of the arizona
law that may still be in trouble. both of them would make it a crime under state law to do something that's not a crime under federal law, to look for work and to get work, and secondly, not to have the right immigration papers with you. so that is still unresolved. i think i agree that the justices seem to be willing to uphold the part of the law that gives the police, requires the police to inquire about the immigration status of people that they pick up. >> all right. pete williams, thank you very much with the latest on what happened in court and as we well know, the arguments brought out protesters for and against the law, similar controversial laws are on hold in five other states, alabama, georgia, indiana, south carolina, and utah. again, this is some of the video from outside the courts today, not uncommon to see protests but it is an indicator of how hot of a topic this is and how it could factor into the election. let me bring in an attorney from the aclu's immigrant rights
protections. thank you so much, andre, for joining me. let me first get your thoughts, you heard pete williams say some court watchers certainly picked up strong signals that the majority of the justices could uphold the most controversial parts of this law. >> i know enough not to predict a decision based on the questions, but what we did see from the beginning is a concern by several of the justices about basic civil rights. they were concerned about whether section 2 b, the section that requires officers to investigate the immigration status, if they suspect they might be undocumented, they were concerned it may lead to detention that is are extended beyond what it would take for the original stuff. that's something very important to us because how this actually works in practice and how arizona has been arguing this case is that officers are allowed to detain the person while they investigate their immigration status. arizona is now -- i am sorry. >> please, go ahead. >> arizona is taking a
difference stance and saying, no, it will only last -- it won't last beyond the time it takes to say give a ticket for the stop, if someone is speeding and they can do whatever they can do during that time and only during that time. that's a big shift and that's an important shift and that's something that we're very concerned about. >> bring many maria kumar, executive director of vote la teen aand thank you for joining us in this conversation. paul clement defended arizona's law before the supreme court and here is what he said today. >> what you saw here i think is a real understanding on the justices part that much of what arizona has done in this statute is really accept the invitation of the federal statutes themselves that put a premium on trying to get communication between state and local law enforcement and federal officials. >> and, maria, we also heard from jan brewer and basically her argument is the same and that she felt the federal government was not acting so the state of arizona had to protect
its citizens is what she described it as. what do you make of at least the tone or what some people are leaning to the justices remarks today. >> the fact is the tone she has to protect the citizens of arizona, immigrants have demonstrated that in the areas of arizona where they live there is a low crime rate so that's nonsense. in reality you will create a patchwork of immigration laws at the state level and almost equivalent of taking the tax law of the federal tax irs code and basically saying each state you can decide what you want. that doesn't function in a democracy and not going to function long-term. what arizona passed is basically condoning and saying, you know what, it is okay to racially profile individuals and that's not okay. there are a lot of different states that are looking to see what happens with the supreme court to figure out if they should continue passing the very difficult harsh immigration laws. >> as we know the federal courts blocked four of the most controversial parts of this law, the requirement as we discussed police to be able to stop people and check status and the
requirement that all immigrants obtain or carry immigration registration papers which was a great offense to a lot of people, this notion of having to carry around your papers, and a provision making it a state criminal offense for legal immigrants to seek, work or hold i job. have you the governor of the state and the governors of many other states watching this and who say that the onus should have been on the federal government and they were forced to put this patchwork together like it or not. >> that's exactly not the case what governor brewer is saying. what unfortunately got lost in the argument here was the harassment that these laws will cause individuals. that is part of the federal pre-emption argument. that is not a separate racial profiling argument. the supreme court has been very clear the federal immigration law is exclusive to the federal government and that's to protect against the harassment of law abiding citizens, lawfully permanent residents, and others. this is not a nation where we're
required to carry identification as we're walking down the street. if i accidently drop something on the ground and i am cited for littering, i don't have any identification to prove my status, i very well may be detained while an officer attempts to investigate my immigration status and as we heard during the argument today it takes at minimum 70 minutes and an additional 10 minutes to run the first check. >> maria, a lot of talk about whether or not this will energize the base for the president if the supreme court sees this as an appropriate law, a law that is within the guidelines here. whether you look at some of the numbers last year alone, nearly 400,000 people were deported. it is a record high. at the same time the administration says that a mere unlawful presence in this country is not a federal crime. there is a lot of if you will conflict it seems from the administration when it comes to these laws and obviously this debate on i am gra i guess and if necessity rule in favor do
you believe it will energize the latino vote for lack of a better description important to the president and the republicans would like to see come to their side hence the courting of marco rubio for example? >> i take the best example is what happened to russell pierce who was the architect of sb-1070. he had a recall this past november because of the harsh tone against immigration. he galvanized the latino community. they're looking for a political catalyst and the supreme court upholding racial profiling law that says you can be identified as an american simply by the pigment of your skin will galvanize the community and the only way it will work is if we make sure it is not about a candidate but about issuing and making it personal and be sure we do not provide expediency on the backs of defining what an american looks like. >> thank you both for your time. greatly appreciate it. as we mentioned in a half hour from now president obama will pick up where he left off yesterday making his case to young voters in swing states.
the president is right now at the university of iowa. we're expecting to hear and call on congress to freeze college interest rates to help stem soaring student debt that they could see by the summer. this is not an official campaign stop but it remains to be seen whether the president will directly engage mitt romney, a man they call the presumptive nominee. romney certainly not holding back after his sweep last night and lashed out against the president's performance in office and pounded the message that he says he can do a better job. >> the last few years have been the best that barack obama can do. it is not the best america can do. i see an america with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. i see children even more successful than their parents, some successful even beyond their wildest dreams and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it. >> joining me, news deputy
political editor mark murray and mark smirkconnish. >> romney laid out why not obama but what was missing is the answer of why him? >> that's right, tamron. i was able to attend a focus group of republican voters last week and all talking about, yes, i know mitt romney is a businessman but they didn't know what the plans were and we didn't hear that from mitt romney last night. romney in his speech said he will talk about this in the future and you can be sure you will hear some of this in the convention taking place in tampa heading into the fall of general election. right now mitt romney is known as a businessman and a person able to beat rick santorum and newt gingrich and not a lot beyond that. >> michael, to mark murray's point here, in that speech he talked about his wife. he talked about his father. he mentioned he is a
businessman. some question aspects of his business record but here is your big window. critics of mitt romney admitted it was a good speech for him, good maybe in performance and lacking as to answering that key question if not obama then why him? >> i saw this as the first step of a new rollout. it would seem to me afs as if the campaign wiped the slate clean and decided voters for the first time would be forming opinions of mitt romney and this would commence the rollout. that it won't be enough to win independents. there is a constituency that only needs to know there is someone other than obama. i am sure that speech played well for those folks last night but he has to cross the next bridge in order to be successful. >> is that a nice way of saying this is the etch-a-sketch moment that his advisor mentioned? is that what you're saying?
>> it was not a speech he is proclaiming conservative viewpoints. >> severely conservative viewpoints. >> there was nothing severely conservative about that speech. that's what i took away from it. the general election has begun. the primary process is over. it doesn't seem like it is the same pitch that will now be made. >> and speaking of pitches being made, mark, i want to go back to this debate on immigration and what the supreme court could decide. mitt romney already issued a statement in the last hour. let me read it. he says the issue before the supreme court today is directly connected to barack obama's refusal to offer any plan to fix our broken immigration system. three years into his term he failed to secure our borders and improve our legal immigration system ordeal squarely with the costs of illegal immigration. with that said romney is the guy in the debate that said people may self deport which we're trying to understand what that could possibly mean and who would possibly participate in it and also, mark, with marco rubio at his side he said he was willing to look at this proposal of a republican dream act but he
really wasn't sure and some saw that as a pivot already for him. >> tamron, in that statement we saw from the romney campaign we see their strategy twofold. one, it is that they want to be able to say that the obama administration has failed when it has come to immigration and, two, try to pivot to latino voters, maybe with some type of version of that marco rubio dream act. what's important in that statement, i thought, is that essentially the romney campaign is taking the side of the state of arizona that the federal government shouldn't butt in and they have every right to do what he they to want do and it doesn't play well with avot of latino vetters and in the new poll he was winning latinos by a wide margin and i can tell you that immigration law in arizona matters a lot to a lot of latinos around the country. >> that's the problem we know will exist down the road. it is not something we're predicting. we don't need a crystal ball. we know that mitt romney has to effectively deal with the issue
and we already know that the team obama plans to use his words against him and the words he used to slay rick perry during the debates. michael. >> tamron, i am thinking about what happens if those who are reading the tea leaves and you heard this just a couple of moments ago are correct in thinking that the supreme court might uphold senate bill 1070 because if that decision comes out in june, then forcement will take place between now and november in the critical sequence of the general election. >> yeah. >> and how it gets enforced, you know there are going to be events and those events will have significance and resonance in the presidential race. >> i know that the law in arizona, mitt romney referred to as a model for the nation, but let me switch to money real quick. i want to play what was said on morning joe, guys. john hileman discussing obama fundraising fears. let me play it, please. >> there is a little of fear in the eyes on the democratic side financially now, this notion that we all most people operated under that the president would
raise a billion dollars and the republican would be maybe a parody and certainly not have the financial advantage. that has i think over the course of the last couple months change the. they're practically coming to my house and asking me to take part in the george clooney fundraiser thing. i get an e-mail about it from somebody almost every day. >> mark, is that your insight, that the team obama is worried about money? >> i think the outside groups are a bit concerned, tamron. when you look at available cash on hand, right now barack obama has a 10 to 1 edge over mitt romney. when you add the outside groups, talking about the super pacs and the political parties it goes to 2 to 1 and as soon as mitt romney is the presumptive nominee, you expect him to raise a lot more money to the joint that john hileman was making that the george cloony raffle, things like that, the obama campaign wants a huge online grassroots base and will they be able to get the 15 million on the e-mail list to send $10, $100, and that theoretically
could wipe out all the republican outside spending and they have to have them energi d energized. >> michael, newt gingrich says on tuesday or at least the reports are that newt gingrich is going to wrap this up on tuesday. >> with no disrespect to newt, is he still in it as of today? >> he still has secret service being paid for. >> that's not right. what about ron paul? he is still in it, too, right? nobody considers them candidates at this point. >> nobody does. you're absolutely right on that. thank you very much including the rnc who said the presumptive nominee is mitt romney. thank you, gentlemen. up next on news nation. >> there was such a posting, unprofessional and unacceptable. >> that was the line said over and over again by homeland security secretary janet napolitano during today's hearing on the secret service scandal that keeps on going. what she said about the facebook picture the secret service agent posted of himself, quote, checking out sarah palin.
>> i didn't believe in using hacking. i don't believe in using private detectives or whatever. i think that is a lazy way of reporters not doing their job. >> rupert murdoch faces a public grilling over the phone hacking scandal and still affecting his empire and this time he takes the hot seat alone without his wife or son at his side and join our conversation on twitter. the best part of any great meal? delicious gourmet gravy. and she agrees. with fancy feast gravy lovers, your cat can enjoy the delicious, satisfying taste of gourmet gravy every day. fancy feast. the best ingredient is love. the charcoal went out already? [ sighs ] forget it. [ male announcer ] there's more barbeque time in every bag of kingsford charcoal. kingsford. slow down and grill.
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and she testified in front of a senate judiciary committee today and said the president was never in any danger but situations like these put the president's security at risk. >> first question i posed to the director was was there any breach to the president's security in this instance and the answer was no. >> there was a risk of breach along those lines if those connections existed, correct? >> there may be a risk and that's why this behavior cannot be tolerated. >> kelly o'donnell joins me live from capitol hill. kelly, napolitano said no stone left unturned. you heard that from congresswomcongressman peter king and the white house. >> although they have been dealt with the investigation goes on. you know, some were forced out. one retired and so forth, but the investigation goes on. part of what they're doing is looking back to see have there been other instances where some type of misconduct was in the files, what had gone unnoticed
public publicly, and the secretary said they have gone back two-and-a-half years so far and under repeated question she said there isn't any evidence of that and that's a big concern. senator white house was asking her about the potential that if those personnel come in contact with what's known as foreign nationals who may have had connections unfavorable to the u.s. that was a risk. people asking was this really serious, many people here look to the possibility of what might have happened even beyond the embarrassment of what actually did happen. it also goes to some of the new ways that we communicate because senator amy klobuchar asked about facebook and what rules are in place for members of the secret service and there was a lot of attention when one of the fired agents had put a photo of himself and sarah palin online. here is how the secretary responded to that. >> we do have a social media
policy, and we would be happy to provide you with a copy of that. yes, to the extent there was such a posting, unprofessional and unacceptable. >> there is another part of this investigation and that deals with a dozen military personnel who were also implicated in this and today senators mccain and levin in charge of the armed services committee got a briefing and they expressed frustration there weren't new answers from the mility that aim came over to tell them about what's going on with the military with respect to this scandal. one of the things they did say is there was an awareness that some of the members had broken curfew, so someone up the chain knew that and decided at the moment not to act on it. there is more to be looked at there and certainly frustration from both levin and mccain they want more answers. >> and there are reports there may have been another incident back in december with u.s. military and prostitutes in brazil according to nbc news, so
as you point out there is still more to come and maybe -- >> yes, secretary panetta did acknowledge that. there is a lot more to look at here. we'll be revisiting this topic i expect. >> kelly o donl, thank you. straight ahead on news nation. >> we've got a fight on our hands, and our members and our team needs to be prepared. >> house speaker john boehner tries to clarify comments he made earlier in the week that there is a 1 in 3 chance the gop could lose the house. it is one of the things we thought you should know. george zimmerman's attorney says his client needs protection and he is considering asking taxpayers to cover the cost of a body guard. first, today's money minute, here is a look at wall street. ♪ i'm making my money do more.
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following developing news taking you to the university of iowa where the president has his last beg of the two-day three-stop tour of colleges in swing states. let's listen in. >> when your football team kicks off its season at soldier field. i want to thank a couple of guests. first of all, your congressman is here and attorney general tom miller, and state treasurer mike fitzgerald, and your mayor, matt hecht, the president of the university of iowa, sally mason. so i have come to the university
of iowa to talk a little bit about you, and some of the issues you guys are dealing with every single day. i believe that college isn't just the best investment that you can make in your future, it is the best investment you can make in your country's future. i am proud of all of you for making that investment because it has never been more important. in today's economy there is no greater predictor of individual success than a good education. that's at the top. right now the unemployment rate for americans with a college degree or more is about half the national average. their incomes are twice as high as those who don't have a high school diploma. a higher education is the
single, clearest path to the middle class. i know that those of you who are about to graduate are wondering what's in store for your future because not even four years ago just as the global economy was about to enter into a free fall you were still trying to find your way around campus and now four years later you're looking at what it means when you leave this campus. the good news is today our economy is recovering. that's the good news. i will be honest with you, it is not yet fully healed from the worst economic crisis since the great depression. our businesses have added more than 4 million jobs over the past two years. there is still a lot of americans out there looking for
a job or at least finding a job that pays the bill and helps cover the mortgage. there are still too many families who don't have that security, that basic middle class security that starts slipping away even before this crisis hit. what i want all of you to know is the degree you earn from iowa will not best tool you have to achieve that basic american promise, the idea that if you work hard, if you give it your all, if you're responsible, then you can do well enough to raise a family and own a home and send your own kids to college, put a little away with for retirement. it is the idea that each generation is going to have a little more opportunity than the last. that's at the heart of the american dream. i can tell you as a parent now that when i see maleah and sasha doing well, there is nothing
more important to me and that's true for american families everywhere. it is the hope your parents have for you. that's the hope you will have some day for your own kids. keeping that promise alive is the defining issue of our time. i don't want this a country -- i don't want this to be a country where a shrinking number of people are doing really, really well and then a growing number are barely able to get by. i don't want that future for you. i don't want it for my daughters. i don't want it for america. i want this forever to be a country where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share and everybody is playing by the same set of rules. that's the america i know. that's the america i love. that's the america within our reach if we work for it.
this is personal for me. i love you back. i love you guys, and i believe in you guys. that's the most important thing. i believe in you. i believe in your future. and i think about my own life. my grandfather had the chance to go to college because this country decided that every returning veteran of world war ii should be able to afford it through the g.i. bill. my mom was a single mom. my dad wasn't around. she raised two kids by herself with some help from my grandparents because she was
able to get grants and work her way through school. i am only here today and michelle is only where she is today because scholarships and student loans gave us a shot at a great education. that's how we succeeded. this country has always made a commitment to put a good education within the reach of everybody who is willing to work for it. that's part of what made us special. that's what kept us in the forefront of business and science and technology and medicine. that's a commitment that we need to reaffirm today. now, here is the challenge we got. since most of you were born tuition and fees in america's colleges have more than doubled, and that forces students like you to take out more loans and rack up more debt. the average student who borrows to pay for college now graduates
with about $25,000 in student loan debt. in this state it is even higher. americans now owe more on their student loans than they owe on credit cards. living with that debt means you have to make pretty tough choices. it may mean putting off buying a first home or chasing that great startup idea you've got or maybe you will have to wait a little bit longer to start a family or save for retirement. when a big chunk of every paycheck goes towards loan debt, that's not just tough on you. that's not just tough on middle class families. that's not good for our economy. that money that could be going into businesses is going just to service debt. as i said, this is personal for me. i know something about this because michelle and i, we went through it.
it wasn't that long ago. we have been in your shoes. we didn't come from wealthy families. we needed loans and we needed grants to get our way through. that meant that when michelle and i graduated from college and law school we had a mountain of debt. when we got married, we got poor together. we combined our assets and they were zero. then we combined our liabilities and they were a lot. we ended up paying more for our student loans in the first few years that we were married than we paid on our mortgage each month when we finally bought a small condo. we were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income, but we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago. think about that. i am president of the united
states. it was only about eight years ago that we finished paying off our student loans. so let me tell you, it wasn't easy making those payments. once we had maleah and sasha, we're trying to save for their college education even as we're paying off our own college education. so this is personal. this is at the heart of who we are. we have to make college more affordable for more young people. we can't put the middle class at a disadvantage. we can't price out folks who are trying to make sure that they not only succeed for themselves but help the country succeed. we can't price the middle class out of a college education. we can't do it.
especially when most new jobs in america will require more than a high school diploma. higher education, whether it is a four-year institution or a two-year president obama aat a community college, it can't be a luxury. it is an economic imperative every family in america should be able to afford. before i came out here, i had a chance to meet not just with blake but with a number of other students and we had a round table, and the stories they told me were so familiar. one young man, single mom, lost her job, he was already about $30,000 in debt. he was only halfway through here at university of iowa. another young woman, her dad was laid off at maytag. they were trying to figure out how to make ends meet and she is about to graduate. now, what i told them is you're making the right decision because over the lifetime of earnings, you will more than earn back this investment you're making, but making it more
affordable would sure help. it would sure help. now, i am going to have a specific request for you. i am going to need your help, iowa, but let me briefly tell you what we have already done to try to make college more affordable because i am not just interested in talking the talk. i want to walk the walk. before i took office, we had a student loan system where tens of billions of taxpayer dollars were going to banks who were the middleman on the federal student loan program. so they were getting billions of dollars in profits managing a loan program where they had no risk because it was all federally guaranteed loans. we changed that. there were folks in washington who fought tooth and nail to protect the status quo.
one said it was an outrage to change the system where banks are managing this thing and the real outrage of the letting them serve as middle men and siphon off profits while students were working two or three jobs to get by. we kept at it and fought and fought and today we don't have middle men. that money is going directly where it should in the first place, going to help more young people afford college. then last fall i acted the payments faster so that nearly 1.6 million students who that i can their payments on time only have to pay 10% of their monthly income towards loans once they graduate which means if you decide to become a teacher or a social worker or a guidance counselor, something that doesn't pay a lot of money, you can still afford to do it because you will never have to pay more than 10% of your income in order to stay current on your loan.
then we decided, you know what, you need more information about this whole process. we want students to have access to a simple fact sheet on student loans and financial aid so you can have all the information you need to make your own choices about how to pay for college. some of you know we set up this new consumer finance protection bureau to look out for consumers and so they're now putting out a fact sheet called know before you owe. know before you owe. that is something michelle and i could have used when we were in your shoes. then what we said is it is not enough just to increase student aid. we also have to stop subsidizing sky rocketing tuition or we'll run out of money so the schools themselves have to keep their tuition low. we challenged -- so pe put out
the challenge to colleges and universities. i told congress atmosphere federal aid to the schools that are providing good value and serving students well and put colleges on notice if you can't stop tu frigs sky rocketing, the frunding you get from taxpayers is going to go down. we're going to put money into the schools doing a better job. we're going to hold schools accountable. of course public universities like this know states and state legislators also have to do their part by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. last year over 40 states cut their higher education spending. yeah, that's not good.
these budget cuts are one of the biggest reasons why tuition goes up at public colleges and have been over the last decade, so we're challenging states, take responsibility. if you can find new ways to bring down costs on college, make it easier for students to graduate, we'll help you do it at the federal level. that's what we have already done, help more families, month more young people afford a higher education, offer intent i haves to states, colleges and universities to keep costs down. that's what we have been doing now and comes the tricky part. we are have to get congress to do their part. that's where you come in. there are a couple of things i would like congress to be doing this year. first, they need to extend the tuition tax credit that we put in place when i first came into office because it is saving middle class families thousands
of dollars. they get a tax break when they are helping their kids go to college. that's important. second, we need congress to safe guard aid for low income students so that today's freshman and sophomores know they're going to be able to count on it. we have to make sure the pell grants are there for people who need them. number three, we have to give more young people the chance to earn their way through college by doubling the number of work study jobs over the next five years. that's an achievable goal. then most immediately and this is where i really need you guys. congress needs to act right now to prevent interest rates on federal student loans from shooting up and shaking you down. that's where you come in.
you see, five years ago congress cut the rates on federal student loans in half. that was a good thing to do. but on july 1st of this year which means two months from now, that rate cut will expire. if it expires, interest rates on these loans will double over night. for each year that congress doesn't act, the average student with these loans will rack up an additional thousand dollars in debt. that's basically $1,000 tax hike on 7 million students around america including 250,000 students here in iowa. let me see if i will do a quick poll. this may be unscientific. how many people can afford to pay an extra $1,000 right now? >> no.
>> no. >> i don't think so. stopping this from happening should be a no-brainer. it makes me sick just thinking about it. helping more young people, helping more young people afford college should be at the foefr font of america's agenda and it shouldn't be a republican or democratic issue. this is an american issue. the stafford loans we're talking about were named after a republican senator, pell grants named after a democratic senator. when congress cut these rates five years ago, the majority of democrats voted for it and 77
republicans in the house of representatives voted for it, too. now, the good news is the senate introduced a bill last night that would keep student loan rates from doubling. that's the good news. what's also good news is some republicans senators look like they might support it and i am ready to work with them to make it happen. that's good. i have got to tell you, the republicans who run the house of representatives have not yet said whether or not they will stop your rates from doubling. they have hinted that the only way to do it is if they cut things like aid for low income students. let many he scratch my head there for a second. think about that. we're going to help some students by messing with other students. that's not a good answer. how many people think that's a good answer?
no, i didn't think so. one of these members of congress, sometimes i like just getting these quotes because i am always interested in how folks talk about this issue. you have got one member of congress who compared these student loans, i am not kidding here, to a stage 3 cancer of socialism. stage 3 cancer. i don't know where to start. what do you mean? what are you talking about? come on. just when you think you heard it all in washington, somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end.
then you have the spokesman for the speaker of the house who says we're, meaning me, my administration, we're just talking about student loans to distract people from the economy. now, think about that for a second. these guys don't get it. this is the economy. this is the economy. this is about your job security. this is about your future. if you do well, the economy does well. this is about the economy. what economy are they talking about? you are the economy. if you have skills, if you have talents, if you're starting a business, if companies are locating here in iowa because it
has a well trained workforce, that's the economy. that's how we're going to compete. making sure our next generation earns the best education possible is exactly america's business. making sure that education is available to everybody and not just the few, that is america's business. our future depends on it. then some of them suggest that students like you have to pay more so we can help bring down the deficit. think about that. these are the same folks who ran up the deficits for the last decade. they voted to keep giving billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies who are raking in record profits. they voted to let millionaires and billionaires keep paying lower classes than middle class
workers. they voted to give folks like me, the wealthiest americans, average tax cut of at least $150,000 and that tax cut would be paid for by cutting things like education and job training programs that give students and workers opportunities to get what they need to succeed. does that make any sense? does that sound like folks really concerned with the deficit? >> no. >> how can we want to maintain tax cuts for the wealthiest americans who don't need them and weren't asking for them? i don't need one. i needed help back when i was your age. i don't need help now. i don't need that extra thousand dollars or few thousand dollars. you do. we need to make sure everybody pays their fair share. how can we continue to subsidize
an oil industry making record profits and instead of investing in things like clean energy that will help shape our future? do we want to jack up interest rates on millions of students or do we want to keep investing in the things that help us in the long-term, things like education and science and a strong military and care for our veterans because we can't have it both ways. we can't do all things on the cheap. you know, one thing i want to be clear about. when i talk like this sometimes the other side, they get all hot and bothered and say he is getting engaging in class warfare. this isn't about class warfare. we want every american to succeed. that's the point. i want all of you to be rich. i want all of you to be successful. we aspire to it. that's what americans do. we work and we hustle. we study.
we take risks to succeed, and we don't expect a handout. we also understand we're in this thing together and america is not about just a few people doing well. it is about everybody having a chance to do well. that's what the american dream is all about. you look at this auditorium, everybody who is here. you are here because somebody made a commitment to you. first your parents. it wasn't just your parents. it was the folks who decided, you know what, we're going to set up a public university. it was the folks that made a decision early on in this republic that said we believe that all men are created equal, that everybody is endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.
those were commitments made by previous generations to future generations. so somebody here had a parent or grand parent who said maybe i can't go to college and some day my son can. maybe i can't start my own business but some day i can picture my daughter starting her own business. maybe i am an immigrant, but i believe this is the country, this is the place where no matter who are you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what your last name is you can make it if you try. that's what we believe. that is what we believe. you and me, all of us. we're only here because someone somewhere felt a responsibility not just to themselves but to this country's future, and now
it is our turn to be responsible. now it is our turn to keep that promise alive. that's where i need your help. i am asking everybody here, anybody who is watching, anybody who is following online, send your member of congress a message. tell them you're not going to set your sights lower. tell them you won't settle for something less. call them. e-mail them. write on their facebook page. tweet. we have a hash tag. don't double my rate. don't double my rate. #don'tdoublemyrate. we have students at north carolina and then at university of colorado to do this yesterday. they got a trending worldwide for a while. see if you can do even better. see how the class can do. we have to keep the heat on congress until this gets done. i need your help to do it. i need you to be heard.
i need you to be counted. now is not the time to double the interest rates on our student loans. now is not the time to double the interest rates. now is the time to double to do on starting investments that build a strong middle class and building an america that's built to last. if we work together with clear eyes and a common purpose, i guarantee you we will meet our challenges. we will rise to this moment, and the reason i know that is because i believe in you. i believe in you. it is because of you that we will remind everybody just why it is that this is the greatest nation on effort. thank you, iowa. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. >> that was the president speaking to students in iowa, repeating on a second
consecutive day that student loans and the interest rates against them should not double on the first of july, calling on congress to act, and saying once again in very personal terms that he knows about the struggle of having a student loan both he and the first lady spending years paying those off and also saying that not only was it a problem paying that off at the same time with two children he was trying to start saving for his young daughters loans in the future as well. kristin welker is there with us. kristin, the president once again making it clear he wants congress to act and he wants them to act in time for this july 1st deadline. >> absolutely, martin. that has been his central message these past two days. he has visited three key battle ground states talking to these young voters, urging them to press congress to act on this
legislation. what makes today a little bit different and you heard the president reference it is that senate majority leader harry reid introduced legislation last night this would do exactly that, keep interest rates on these student loans low for about the 7 million students nationwide who have these student loans, so that's the message and they have gotten some pushback from republicans not unexpected republicans saying this is pure politics. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell taking democrats are trying to make us look bad, republicans saying they're opposed to the pay-for plan for the legislation that senator reid put forth. that's the message and the back drop. as you know, there is a political back drop as well, president obama trying to court young voters who are key to his victory back in 2008 and he beat john mccain by 34 points among young voters. right now there appears to be an enthusiasm gap. if you look at the numbers, mitt
romney's camp has identified that. they're trying to cap into it. you heard mitt romney earlier this week saying that he supports this type of legislation and of course democrats have said that he is flip-flopping on that issue and ultimately supports the ryan budget plan which runs counter to this type of proposal. so both sides really duking it out trying to win young voters and what's interesting if you think about t president obama visited north carolina, colorado, and now iowa today. president obama won north carolina about 14,000 votes back in 2008. young voters were really key to that narrow margin. he needs them to turn out but to turn out in force again in 2012 if he is to win re-election and make up for some other projected losses that he might see among other groups so president obama wrapping up this two-day three-state trip here in iowa and certainly got a rousing reception from the