Jill Biden touts Obama’s support of higher education during Macalester stop

MinnPost photo by James Nord
Jill Biden made three campaign stops in Minnesota on Friday, wrapping up in the afternoon at Macalester College in St. Paul.

Jill Biden, wife  of Vice President Joe Biden, made three campaign stops in Minnesota on Friday, wrapping up with a speech at Macalester College in St. Paul where she called on students to help re-elect President Barack Obama.

In a speech tailored to the college audience, Biden stumped on the president’s track record of protecting higher education by doubling Pell grants and fighting to keep student loan interest rates low. Her visit came just weeks after Joe Biden appeared at events in Minneapolis and Rochester.

“The president and the vice president are working hard every day so that all of you … you all have an opportunity to create a better life for yourself,” Jill Biden said to a crowd of about 530. “Every day President Obama and my husband have got your back and now we have to get theirs.’ ”

Obama staffers asked students to help man phone banks and canvass neighborhoods in St. Paul, and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is also up for re-election, stressed the importance of the 2012 campaign.

“There are so many things we have to do after this election,” she said. “Everything you do matters in the next 50 days or so.”

Biden, who teaches at a community college, appeared at home and at ease among the students who crowded into the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center at Macalester. She worked the crowd after the event, posing for photos and chatting with students.

“It’s students like you that make me so excited to be in the classroom,” she said in her speech.

She stressed that the president’s re-election at least in part hinges on recapturing the strong student support he carried in 2008.

“This is the time to show it,” she said. “We need all of you.”

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/15/2012 - 08:16 am.

    Biden obviously flunked economics

    Doubling Pell grants ultimately causes tuitions to increase.

    If you chart the rise of college tuition over the past 40 years you’ll see that college costs increase as government subsidies increase. If you want to reduce the cost of college tuition we need to eliminate Pell grants and government-backed student loans.

    In order for colleges to attract customers they would have to reduce their tuition to an affordable level. Econ 101.

    Bottom line, Obama and Biden have actually HURT college students with their policies of increased government subsidies.

    • Submitted by R B on 09/15/2012 - 06:30 pm.

      Doubt that

      too simple. when I went to college in the late 70’s, I borrowed but the loans were easy to repay, and they were directly from the government no private agencies involved at all. the terms were reasonable, and I paid all my loans off in full within a few years.

      college tuition has gone up for a lot of reasons, the main one at public institutions like the U of M being the decrease in government support.

      Bottom line, the economy has changed, and the Republicans seem to ignore that as much as possible.

      • Submitted by Ed Day on 09/16/2012 - 05:46 pm.

        According to a MN Legislative Auditor report, tuition increases grew three times faster than the CPI from 1981 to 1995. The report found that 90 percent of the tuition increases beyond the CPI were due to decreases in state funding.
        Aside from a nice going-away gift from Gov. Arne Carlson, this trend has accelerated under Jesse “if you’re smart enough to go, you’re smart enough to pay” Ventura and Tim “No New Taxes” Pawlenty. In fact, tuition at the U went from $5,002 per year in 2002 to $10,320 in 2010.
        As for paying your way through college, U of M tuition was $1,053 in 1981, when the minimum wage was $3.35 per hour. This year, according to a recent Pioneer Press article, U tuition is $13,500 while minimum wage has skyrocketed to $7.70.
        In other words, U of M grad Tim Pawlenty could have worked for minimum wage full time for 10 weeks and earned $1,340—enough to cover the next year’s tuition and go to a couple of movies. Today he’d need to work full time for 42 weeks at $8 per hour to pay for a year of college.

  2. Submitted by Ed Day on 09/16/2012 - 05:47 pm.

    Historically, Pell grants have had little impact on tuition because the awards decrease as family income increases and there has usually been a fairly modest eligibility cutoff based on income.
    Lifting the limits on student loans in 1994 and the creation of the 529 college savings plans (which have proven to be great for anyone who can afford it) have been a big factor in tuition increases as colleges have had to “compete” for the operating dollars attached to each student. This has long been the approach preferred by Republicans.

  3. Submitted by Gary Doan on 09/16/2012 - 09:07 pm.

    Obama does not support education

    Obama supports programming of students, not educating them. Have you read UN Agenda 21? It is being implemented in the USA now as National Strategy for a Sustainable America and White House Rural Council. Read the parts on education, it calls for misleading students and teaching them not to question the programming. That is not eduction.

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