BOULDER, Colo. — President Barack Obama arrived in Colorado just before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. By 8:30 p.m., he was heading back to Denver after delivering a speech on student loans to a receptive audience at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
The President is spending Tuesday night at the JW Marriott in Denver. Streets in the Cherry Creek North section of the city were blocked.
His stop in Colorado was clearly a campaign appearance aimed at attracting young voters in Colorado, which is considered to be a battleground state in the 2012 presidential election.
The President is sounding the alarm about student loan interest rate hikes that could happen if Congress doesn’t take action, and the need to do something so middle class Americans don’t get priced out of receiving college educations.
“I think it’s great that he’s coming to our school and I think it’s going to be interesting what he has to say about student loans,” said Camille Breslin, a student at University of Colorado.
According to the Project on Student Debt, two thirds of college seniors graduated with student loans in 2010 and carried an average of $25,000 in debt.
If interest rates spike, that would mean students could pay several thousand dollars more over the course of ten years.
“I did look for some scholarships, I didn’t seem to find a whole lot, just figuring student loans were the way to go,” said Erica Johnson.
Johnson is a 26-year-old nurse at Children’s Hospital and after six years of school Erica is $100,000 in debt.
As a recent graduate, she’s hoping the president can help.
CU Boulder will be ground zero in a clash between the president and Republicans on whether students should pay higher interest rates this summer.
In his speech at the CU campus, Obama urged congress to prevent interest rates from doubling.
But doing so would cost $6 billion a year.
That’s why many people want to hear what the President has to say.
A group held a protest in Boulder Tuesday to rally support against him being reelected President.
His opponents say he needs to give more attention to the economy.
A number of conservative groups joined for the demonstration. They say Obama isn’t doing enough to make sure the college degrees students earn translate into jobs after graduation.