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Obama’s Stump Speech Attacks McCain’s Higher Education Plan

By Alyson Klein — October 27, 2008 1 min read
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This weekend in Colorado, Sen. Barack Obama again gave a version of his stump speeech that criticizes Sen. John McCain for having “no plan to invest in college affordability.”

My opponent's top economic adviser actually said that they have no plan to invest in college affordability because we can't have a giveaway to every special interest. Well I don't think the young people of America are a special interest—they are the future of this country.

That line was an apparent reference to a statement by McCain’s most visible surrogate on the economy, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who told the Associated Press this month that

We don't have any new college proposals in terms of massive expansions of funding. There is a budgetary reality; we have enormous spending pressures already. It would be irresponsible to go to every interest group and promise them lots of money. The other campaign does that. We don't."

Check out CNN’s fact check of the statement.

This wasn’t the first time Obama has hit on college costs—or slammed Holtz-Eakin’s remarks—in speaking to swing state voters. He also mentioned the issue in an Oct. 16 speech in New Hampshire, another important battleground in which college students’ votes just might make the difference.

But, as the CNN fact checkers mentioned, McCain actually does have a higher education plan, in which he does call for simplifying higher education tax benefits to help families pay for college.

But, as I look at the Web site, there aren’t many details on the plan - or any new money for higher education.