GOP Candidates Question Federal Role in Higher Ed

October 28, 2011

Several Republican presidential candidates (but not Mitt Romney or Rick Perry) spoke about education on Thursday at a forum sponsored by the College Board and News Corp. Herman Cain, who is currently leading in some polls of Republican voters, said that helping students afford a higher education is not a federal responsibility, Politico reported. "I believe that if a state wants to help with college education, that they should do that," he said. "Secondly, you have people living within communities within states that are willing to help fund those kinds of programs. So I do not believe that it is the responsibility of the federal government to help fund a college education because herein, our resources are limited and I believe that the best solution is the one closest to the problem. The people within the state, the people within the communities, ultimately, I believe, are the ones who have that responsibility."

Representative Michele Bachmann used the forum to criticize President Obama for his plan to reduce the size and duration of some payments on student loans. The Associated Press reported that she said the president was exceeding his authority with the plan, and that there was a "moral hazard" in relieving people of debts that they have accumulated.

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