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Focusing on the Future

president obama and republican presidential nominee Mitt romney argued over policies and plans that focused on the job outlook and student loan situation of college students, each promising a brighter future ahead.
Charles Neibergall (AP)

The presidential candidates stressed their concern for young voters during Tuesday night’s debate.

President Obama and Republican presidential nomi- nee Mitt Romney discussed many concerns on the nation’s mind, focusing on struggles and possibilities that college students have ahead, during the second presidential debate in New York.

Candy Crowley from CNN, who moderated the debate, introduced the young, male college student who posed the first question.

He expressed a concern that is on the minds of all college students: employment opportunities after graduation.

“What can you say to reassure me, but more impor- tantly, my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?” asked the student, who noted that November will be his first opportunity to vote.

Romney said two things need to be done.

“We have to make sure that we make it easier for kids to afford college and also make sure that when they get out of college, there’s a job,” he said.

He also said he wants the federal loan program intact so students can afford to get an education.

“I want to make sure we keep our Pell Grant program growing.”

Romney said it is important to bring back the economy, as it has been “buried” for the last four years.

“I know what it takes to get this economy going,” Romney said.

Obama countered, saying it is important to have “good- paying jobs” available rather than just any jobs.

“What I want to do is build on the five million jobs that we’ve created over the last 30 months in the private sector alone,” he said.

Obama also said he wants to build manufacturing jobs in the U.S., provide the best education system and “control our own energy.”

“We’ve got to make sure we’re building the energy sources of the future, not just thinking about next year, but 10 years from now, 20 years from now.”

Crowley mentioned those who have been unemployed for quite some time now, asking what could be done for them.

“The president’s policies have been exercised over the last four years, and they haven’t put Americans back to work,” Romney said, pointing out that 23 million people in the U.S. are currently unemployed.

“We have fewer people working today than we had when the president took office.”

He added that the unemployment rate of the country is 7.8 percent, which is the same as it was when Obama took office four years ago.

Romney also discussed his five-point plan, which would create 12 million jobs over the course of four years.

“It’s going to help people across the country that are unemployed right now.”

Obama said Romney has rather a “one-point plan.”

“That plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules,” he said. “You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less.”

In response to the question concerning those who are currently unemployed, Obama said, “The last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us there.”