– At a Senate committee hearing last week in Washington, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt raised questions about the “debt problem” when students leave school – whether students are borrowing too much rather than whether schools cost too much or if student loans are unaffordable.
“We ought to be talking about … the debt problem when you get out of school. How much of that related to the actual cost of going to school and how much it related to what you thought your living standards should be while you went to school, and I’m pretty confident over the years that the student expectations for their personal living standards in school have often increased where they would have been a few just years ago.”
This week, after a Huffington Post report criticized Blunt for them, they are being featured by Democrats here hoping to unseat him in 2016.
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, the Democrat challenging Blunt, took to Twitter to accuse Blunt of “shaming” students.
I want to help middle class Missourians send their kids to college. Shaming those kids won’t be my approach.
— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) April 21, 2015
Just like U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill did against her Republican opponents in 2012, Democrats here hope to capitalize on a similar playbook – painting the Republican candidate as anti-student, anti-senior and anti-women
Chris Hayden, a spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party, noted Tuesday that Blunt supported a budget that would cut funding for Pell Grants as he and others passed around Blunt’s quote.
“Senator Blunt showed how out of touch with Missouri he is by voting for a budget that raises the cost of college and following it up by blaming students for their student loan debt,” Hayden said. “It is clear that in Senator Blunt’s world, protecting tax breaks for special interests is more important than making sure Missouri students can afford to go to college.”