Courting young voters in the pivotal state of Ohio, President Barack Obama slammed rival Mitt Romney on the issue of financial aid for college students, suggesting that the Republican's personal wealth left him out of touch with their struggles to pay for school.
"Putting a college education within reach for working families just doesn't seem to be a big priority for my opponent," Obama told a rowdy and supportive crowd at Capital University in Columbus.
The president highlighted Romney's suggestion at an event in April that young people should "borrow money if you have to from your parents" to go to college or start a business, and his advice to students worried about high tuition to "shop around" for more affordable options.
"That's it. That's his plan. That's his answer to young people who are trying to figure out how to go to college and make sure that they don't have a mountain of debt--shop around and borrow more money from your parents," Obama said, to boos from his audience.
"I want to make sure everybody understands. Not everybody has parents who have the money to lend," said the president. "That may be news to some folks, but it's the truth."
Obama was on a two-day campaign swing that also included stops in Nevada, another critical up-for-grabs state in November's election. He was courting mostly young voters, a critical bloc that helped power his history-making 2008 White House run.
But young voters have struggled with the sour economy—something Romney's campaign highlighted in his response to the president's assault.
"Under this president, too many young Americans are suffering from higher college costs, more debt, and a lack of good jobs when they graduate," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said. She derided Obama's remarks as "just more of the same from a president who hasn't fixed the economy or kept his promises to the young people who supported him four years ago."