President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney touched on education a few times during Tuesday night’s town hall presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York, but the discussion primarily focused on economic policy and job creation.
Audience members asked questions while moderator Candy Crowley, a CNN anchor and political correspondent, asked follow-up questions to focus the candidates’ responses.
At the beginning of the debate, a student asked both candidates how they would ensure job opportunities for college students after graduation.
Romney said part of the answer is making college more affordable by increasing financial aid and providing Federal Pell Grants so students will not be as saddled with debt after graduation.
Romney said his five-point economic plan would create 12 million jobs.
“The president’s policies have been exercised over the last four years, and they haven’t put Americans back to work,” Romney said.
Obama said Romney’s economic plan caters to the wealthy and stifles the middle class.
“Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan,” Obama said. “He has a one-point plan, and that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.”
Obama talked about his administration’s efforts to increase student loan availability and stimulate job growth in the economy.
Obama said his economic plan supports creating manufacturing jobs, offering incentives for companies who do not outsource employment and investing in both clean energy and education.
Although candidates were asked questions about foreign policy, second amendment rights and immigration, most of the discussion revolved around economic issues and the candidates often returned to discussions about their different perspectives on job creation, unemployment, tax policy, trade and the current economic situation.
According to the CNN/ORC International Tuesday night survey, 46 percent of responders believed Obama won the debate, while 39 percent believed Romney did.
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