9:04pm

Tue August 28, 2012
Politics

Obama Speaks to 13,000 Supporters at Colorado State University

In a campaign visit to the campus of Colorado State University, President Obama outlined what’s at stake for college students in the 2012 election.

“For the first time in many of your lives you’ll get to pick a president. The truth is you guys have more at stake in this election than anybody,” the President said to about 13,000 supporters in the Monfort Quad at CSU. “When you step into that voting booth, the choice you make in that instant will shape this country, the world, your lives for decades to come.”

From there, the president spent nearly 30 minutes hop scotching to different topics including jobs, the economy, women’s health, energy, war, climate change and the Supreme Court.

But it was his message on making college more affordable that was front-and-center. Obama is visiting Colorado as part of a two-day tour to college campuses.

“We fixed the student loan system that was giving billions of dollars of taxpayer money to banks. We said let’s give it directly to students. And we were able to double grant aid for millions of students,” Obama told supporters.

It’s a message that resonated with Sophomore Jennifer Lucas. She says she was going to vote for Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, but is now reconsidering.

“A lot of things added up, and he spoke to us as students so that really helped,” she said.

April Mack, who traveled to the event from Denver, liked the idea of affordable college education for her two daughters.

“I have student loans to the point where I’ll be retired paying student loans,” she said. “So I feel like he got it and not only did he get it, I have two others that I’ll be trying to get to school.”

Hours before the Obama speech kicked off, dozens of supporters for Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney gathered on the west side of campus. Recent college graduate Logan Watson said the economy is lower on his list of priorities. He’s said social issues are most important for him this year.

Credit Grace Hood / KUNC

Abortion being a huge issue,” he said.

Karen Alsum from Loveland said the economy is important. And so is repealing the Affordable Health Care Act passed by the Obama administration.

“I have some health issues,” she said. “I know there needs to be some changes. But I kind of want to make those changes on my own and not have the government tell me what they should be.”

Colorado’s nine electoral votes will be key to either Obama or Romney winning election in come November.

The President returns to Colorado to campaign in Boulder on September 2.

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