Obama, Romney camps talk education
While the economy has been issue number one in the Presidential race, both the Romney and Obama camps sparred over education Wednesday in a surprising point of contention. Josh Robin reports.
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UNITED STATES -- The Republican's audience was a Hispanic business group, but Mitt Romney never mentioned immigration in his speech. Instead, the likely Republican presidential candidate focused on education, calling it "the civil rights issue of our era."
His plan includes vouchers to private schools, which President Obama opposes. The former Massachusetts governor also proposes letting high-needs students choose any school they want, with federal funds following them and not remaining at schools. He also insisted generous donations from teachers unions have biased Obama to their causes.
"The president can’t have it both ways," Romney said. "He can’t talk up reform while indulging the groups that are blocking reform."
But Obama has tangled with teachers unions during his term over his support for charter schools and greater teacher accountability. Even Republicans have praised Obama's education policies.
As for the venue, it was Romney's attempt to court Latino voters for the general election, with his poll numbers among them flagging.
Romney has called for self-deportation of undocumented immigrants and criticized a plan to give financial aid those who crossed the border illegally as children. Wednesday's audience was friendly.
"Some of the issues that are very important are the economy and education," said Hector Barreto of the Latino Coalition. "He addressed those very well today."
Meanwhile, President Obama spoke soon-to-be college graduates, Wednesday at the Air Force Academy. He touted an end to conflict in Iraq and greater respect in the world, weaving in his own pitch to Latino voters by singling out one of the graduates.
"Edward said what we all know to be true: 'I'm convinced that America is the land of opportunity,'" the president said. "(He) grew up in Venezuela, got on a plane with a one-way ticket to America and today is closer to his dream of becoming an Air Force pilot."