Education

Klobuchar On Free College Debate: I Get ‘Concerned About Paying For College For Rich Kids’

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2020 Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar said she gets “concerned about paying for college for rich kids” when it comes to offering “free college” programs Wednesday on NBC.

“I do get concerned about paying for college for rich kids,” the Minnesota senator said during the first Democratic debate before delving into her education policy ideas. “I can tell you this: if billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans.”

The Minnesota senator was responding to a question from NBC anchor Stephanie Grisham, who brought up the time Klobuchar said, “I am not for free four-year college for all, no. … If I was a magic genie and could give that to everyone and we could afford it, I would,” at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire in February. (RELATED: Beto Spends Half His Time Answering In Spanish While Corey Booker Watches, Shocked)

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“To be blunt, are the government programs and benefits that some of your rivals are offering giving your voters — people — a false sense of what is actually achievable?” Grisham said.

“Well, first: the economy,” Klobuchar said. “We know that everyone is sharing in its prosperity, and [President] Donald Trump just sits in the White House and gloats about what’s going on when you have so many people that are having trouble affording college and … their premiums.”

“I do get concerned about paying for college for rich kids. I do,” she continued. “But I think my plan is a good one, and my plan would be to, first of all, make community college free and make sure that everyone else besides that top percentile gets help with their education.” (RELATED: Klobuchar Predicts Anita Hill Criticism Will Hound Joe Biden’s Campaign)

“Second, I will use Pell Grants. I’d double them from $6,000 to $12,000 a year and expand it to the number of families that get covered — to families that make up to $100,000. And then the third thing I would do is make it easier for students to pay off their student loans because I can tell you this: if billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their student loans,” she concluded.

Klobuchar’s website outlines her education policy, which echoes her points made during the debate, including expanding education programs, “strengthening commitment” to one- and two-year community college degrees, investing in apprenticeships, focusing on STEM, reducing the “achievement gap,” supporting those with disabilities and so on.

Fellow 2020 candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker, Kirtsen Gillibrand, Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang have all expressed interest in creating free college programs if elected.

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