Obama talks education, manufacturing, jobs to students



President Barack Obama arrives to speak to the media about preparations for Tropical Storm Isaac from the White House Diplomatic Room in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, August 28, 2012. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Rex Santus

Obama talks unemployment

Obama talks manufacturing

Obama mentions campaign stops in Ohio

Colleges that were on the conference call


  • Colorado State University
  • Metro State University of Denver
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • Iowa State University
  • Luther College
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Nevada-Las Vegas
  • University of Nevada-Reno
  • Duke University
  • East Carolina University
  • North Carolina A&T
  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina State University
  • UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Kent State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Ohio University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • George Mason University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

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“I [keep] a buckeye in my pocket from the last time I was in [Ohio]. I figure that’s good luck going into the election,” said President Barack Obama while addressing college students from 24 universities across the country.

President Barack Obama spoke to campuses, including Kent State, via a phone-in press conference Tuesday.

Obama highlighted issues specific to Ohio and young people during his conference with students, saying Ohio is “representative of the choice in this election.”

“Ohio is a state where one in eight jobs are connected to the auto industry,” Obama said. “…The U.S. auto industry has come roaring back so that Ohio’s unemployment rate is actually doing better than a lot of other states around the country.”

Ohio is a state that could succeed in manufacturing, Obama said, which would be beneficial for the entire country.

“If Ohio is doing well, then America is going to do well,” Obama said, “because when we’re making things and shipping products all around the world as opposed to just borrowing and consuming, that means more good-paying jobs are taking root in this country.”

The president urged young people to maintain their faith in him with their vote in the upcoming election.

“When I told folks in 2008 to vote for me, I didn’t promise change was going to be easy,” Obama said. “Change is tough. It always has been…All the progress that we’ve made in our history usually came about through some struggle.”

The key thing young people should know going into this election is the unemployment rate is double for those who don’t have a college education, he said. He has put such an emphasis on college affordability because he wants young people to be successful.

“If [young people] don’t finish school, they’re going to have a much tougher time getting a job,” Obama said. “And that’s true not just here — that’s true all around the world.”

He said he believes in giving everyone a fair shot by opening up opportunities for young people and the country’s future.

“I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by raising taxes on the middle class or cutting financial aid to 10 million students,” Obama said. “I don’t believe in top-down economic policies. That’s what got us into this mess.”

Health care legislation is another thing young people should consider when it is time to vote, Obama said.

“Young people are going to be able to choose whether we go back to a health care system that lets insurance companies decide who to drop and when,” he said, “or if we’re going to move forward the new health care law that’s already cutting costs and covering more people and saving lives.”

Obama closed his meeting with students by stressing the importance of young people being informed about their vote.

“Regardless of whether you’re voting Democrat [or] Republican, the key here is to make sure your voice is heard,” Obama said. “Hopefully people get educated on the issues that are going to make such a big difference not just tomorrow or next year but probably for the next 20 years.”

Contact Rex Santus at [email protected].