Did George LeMieux flip-flop on student loans?
George LeMieux's campaign today criticized Connie Mack IV for failing to take a position on extending lower student loan interest rates and came out firmly in favor of the plan himself. But only a few weeks ago at a tea party candidate forum in Orlando, LeMieux sounded decidedly skeptical when asked about subsidized student loans, implying it was probably not worth worth "borrowing the money from China" to pay for additional government spending.
We'll post audio shortly but here's the transcript:
Woman: My second question relates to the economy, which you’ve touched on a few times. One of the government’s new ways to increase income is to subsidize student loans, and many students are already financially strapped to attend school. How do you feel about subsidizing student loans?
George LeMieux: Well, I think student loans are important. There’s a lot of folks who can’t afford to go to school, and we need to be able to have folks who can go to college. You know, the G.I. bill in this country was one of the greatest things this country ever did, and we need to have our folks be able to compete. But we don’t need more government at this point, and I’m going to look at every dollar we spend with this construct: is it worth borrowing the money from China to spend this dollar? And the answer is, in most cases, the answer is no.
And let me tell you another thing about student loans. ObamaCare nationalized student loans. We have private sector people, 800 people in Pensacola—I’m sorry, Panama City. I went and visited them. They lost their job because the federal government realized they could loan the money out and make a profit because it could borrow it at the government’s rate and loan it out at the student government’s rate. So not only now is the federal government profiting off these students, but it’s taking that vig in order to pay, in part, for ObamaCare. It’s despicable.
LeMieux campaign spokeswoman Anna Nix responds:“Unlike Connie Mack who bragged about ‘brining home the bacon,’ George is concerned about every dollar we spend. He believes we cannot expand the student loan subsidy but it is important we keep the current interest rate in place, especially in the middle of a recession. As George consistently states, any new money spent must be offset by cuts and not borrowed from China.”