Getting the word out: College Republicans and Democrats on the stump

Why do you support your candidate?

William Moore, College Republicans Student Leader: He’s a very experienced man, in both the public and private sector. He’s been a governor and he’s been a successful businessman. With Bain Capital, he was able to help other companies; for example, Staples wouldn’t exist without Bain, and he saved the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002.

He has a lot of experience and I feel that he can serve our country better than President Obama.

Dwight Price, College Democrats Student Representative: I’m a progressive person. I believe in health care for everyone as a fundamental right. I believe that millionaires and billionaires should pay their fair share in taxes.

I support his foreign policy, in that it has positively changed America’s image in the world. The relationships he’s forged with world leaders have been better and will be stronger and longer-lasting than the Bush administration’s.

I also believe in marriage equality, and I’m glad he’s in favor of it.

Obama matched my views in 2008, and he matches them now.

It seems that the Republican Party hasn’t changed much since the Bush era, except that it’s moved even farther right. Obama is trying to come to the middle, despite being left-of-center.

He listens to conservatives and liberals, but he tries to reach out to people for consensus. And that’s hard to do, given the current climate in Congress, with republicans blocking bills and not willing to compromise on tax policy.

There needs to be compromise, and I doubt the Republicans will do it.

 

What will your candidate do to improve the condition of the middle class?

Moore: One of Romney’s button issues is improving the state of our businesses.

We need to address intellectual property rights and get people to respect them. We need to cut the corporate tax.

Cutting corporate tax won’t drive up the price of our goods; it will drive prices down so consumers can afford products.

These measures in themselves will help the middle class, so we can allow businesses to provide goods at a more competitive and cheaper cost, which will allow consumers to put aside money for investment and allow business owners to create more jobs.

After all, America’s greatest asset is her people.

Price: Obama understands ordinary people better because he lived the American dream. He came from a lower-middle-class family and became the President. He’s overcome many struggles, and I’m sure Romney has too, but not in the same way Obama has. I sympathize with the fact that he tries to realize the problems of average Americans; he reads something like 20 letters a day.

For one thing, Obama wants to cut taxes on the middle class and the poor. I think this shows that he’s more in touch with how to fix the problems facing the country concerning poverty, immigration, and the economy on the whole.

Romney plans on moving the tax burden down, upon the middle class, as opposed to on the wealthy who have their fortunes.

Also, I think that Obama will try to push his jobs bill more strongly. He may have to work more unilaterally in his second term if Congress remains obstructive, but he will work to push his jobs bill through.

I respect that Mitt Romney has business experience, but he looks at it from that business perspective. I think that Obama looks at the country and economy from all sides.

The country should be run like a non-profit, for the common good, as opposed to making a profit.

 

What do you think your candidate can and will do to gain more North Carolina votes? 

Moore: Last time Romney campaigned here, he stumped in three cities. He’s been making the case, especially in North Carolina, that Democratic policies have actually hurt our economy and driven up unemployment.

Romney has pointed out the facts. He’s pointed out that North Carolina’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average. He’s pointed out that other states who have elected Republicans to lead, like Wisconsin and New Jersey, have seen employment rise.

Romney has supported Pat McCrory for governer in North Carolina, and I believe we need to elect Republicans on the state level, as well as to national office.

Price: Obama will have to get the youth vote again, and have to create a bigger grassroots, ground operation to get people registered and to the polls.

He also has to explain how he’ll improve the unemployment rate, which is higher in North Carolina than the national average.

He has to appeal to Reagan Democrats, which is a big demographic here, considering the fact that this state is more conservative, even considering the Democrats we’ve elected to office.

There’s been a shift in the electorate in North Carolina towards conservatism, and he must try to ensure that he can break that shift and get his base out.

 

How do you think your candidate supports our generation?

Moore: Well, consider what college kids need. Above anything, we need a job to pay off our loan debt.  If you can’t pay off your debt, you’re pretty much screwed.

So, we need to figure out how to lower our unemployment rate and reform our tax policy to allow businesses the ability to hire more people. Because if you don’t have a job, not only won’t you be able to pay off your debt, you won’t be able to progress economically.

When it comes to financial aid, Romney’s plan is similar to what’s in place, but Romney and other conservatives want to make sure that financial aid isn’t being held hostage by institutions who aren’t providing quality education.

Over the past few decades, the cost for education has gone up, but the quality has remained stagnant.

When it comes to public education, when we have kids, Romney wants to give families vouchers so we aren’t limited by where we live. Our children will be able to go to a school which suits their needs.

Price: Obama stands behind students. He wants to avoid interest rate hikes in student loans. He believes there should be access for anyone willing and able to attend the college of their choice. Both Barack and Michelle Obama relied on federal aid for their education, so he embraces and recognizes that fact, and will not decrease that essential aid.

He recognizes the potential in the children of immigrants. He sees them as the new American Dreamers.

He also realizes that we have a deficit problem which we will inherit, and he wants to decrease that deficit, but not on the backs of the middle class and the poor.

One way he’ll work towards closing the deficit is by pushing initiatives to improve math and science education, in order to train us for the jobs of the future. Also, he wants to improve test scores in secondary education, and beyond test scores, improve students’ understanding and thinking.

 

Considering the upcoming debates, what do you think your candidate’s strengths are?

Moore: He doesn’t rely on charisma. A lot of people would say that’s a weakness. But I admire that he has the ability to present his side with a business-like tone without having to hug you, or smile, or sell a big story.

But that all depends on who you ask.  In 2008, Obama swept many voters on the fact that he’s a better speaker as opposed to how effective they will be as a president. And in my view, his performance speaks for itself.

As long as Romney is able to articulate what he’ll do on a local, national and global setting, I think he’ll be all right.

Price: Concerning debating, he possesses impeccable rhetorical ability. Everyone knows he’s a good speaker, but in debates he also appeals to people with anecdotes which defend his policies.

He’ll try to build on the hopes and aspirations of the average working American, not the wealthy who wish to retain the status quo.

Also, he is untouchable regarding foreign policy. Romney’s response to the Embassy attacks in North Africa was baseless and callous, and I think that Obama will capitalize on that during the foreign policy debate.

But the big debate will be on the economy. And though improvement has been slow, jobs have been added and it is improving, so I believe Obama will gain the upper hand. He’ll point out that the Republicans in Congress were unwilling to work with him.

However, Obama has to establish his narrative on the economy. Romney has had the advantage there. But Obama has to reinforce the fact that he inherited a mess, but a mess that he is improving.

I think that after the debates, the country will see that Obama is a better leader, despite Romney’s business experience.

 

Would you like to make any closing statements? 

Moore: I want to make this clear to the student body: We face many upcoming difficulties. Student loans, increasing debt, Medicare’s sustainability and such. Considering the conservative stance, I believe we have a stronger argument for preserving our government.

Price: Everyone must register and vote, especially young people. This is no time to stand on the sidelines.