COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Barack Obama told Ohio students Tuesday that proposed Republican cuts to college aid show that opponent Mitt Romney "does not think investing in your future is worth it," using personal terms to try to paint his opponent as eager to help the wealthy at the expense of working families.
Obama invoked his own years of paying off student debt and criticized Romney for urging kids to ask their parents to lend them more money and to "shop around" if they are trying to figure out how to afford college.
"Not everybody has parents who have the money to lend. That may be news to some folks," Obama said during an appearance at Capital University in Columbus, noting the "mountain" of debt he and wife Michelle faced after graduating from college and law school.
The president was pointing to the budget plan put forward by Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, in trying to paint the GOP ticket as too extreme for the nation. His campaign criticized Ryan's budget proposal for cutting $115 billion from the Education Department, removing 2 million children from Head Start programs and costing 1 million college students their Pell Grants over the next decade. The push will be coupled with TV ads.
Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said it's Obama who has failed young Americans. "Under this president, too many young Americans are suffering from higher college costs, more debt, and a lack of good jobs when they graduate," she said in a statement.
Obama was campaigning later in the day in Reno, Nev.
Ryan didn't address the education criticism during remarks at a steel plant in Carnegie, Pa., though he defended the Republican ticket's plan to overhaul Medicare and criticized Obama for what he called "a whole lot of distortions."
The Wisconsin congressman criticized the president for his 2008 remark that frustrated voters "cling to their guns or religion."
"Hey, I am a Catholic deer hunter. I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion," Ryan said to cheers.