President Obama interview with Sway Calloway of MTV News

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

On Friday, President Obama sat down for an interview with MTV News' Sway Calloway during MTV's "Ask Obama Live: An Interview With the President":

Sitting down with MTV News' Sway Calloway in the White House, Obama
didn't have long to prepare. Within the first minute, he was getting
grilled about lowering the cost of higher education — a hot topic among the young voters we've been speaking to on the road with our Power of 12 campaign — and was asked if he had a "game-changing idea" to help out students loaded with debt.

"One thing I want folks to know, right at the onset, is that an
investment in a college education still pays off. The unemployment rate
for college graduates is half for somebody who didn't go to college,"
Obama said. "But … the costs have gone up so much faster for a
college education that young people are coming out with an average of 23
to 25 thousand dollars' worth of debt. So here's what we've done: We
have already put in place an expansion of Pell grants [and] keeping
interest rates on student loans where they were; they were scheduled to
double.

"What we've also said is, we now have to go directly to
the source, the colleges and universities, and say, 'You've got to work
on cutting tuitions,' " the president continued. "And we're going to
reward those schools who do a good job, providing good value for their
students while keeping tuition low, and we'll stop directing federal aid
to those colleges and universities that that are loading up their
students with debt."

Obama also spoke about rewarding graduates
who want to start their own businesses by eliminating the capital gains
tax and making it easier for young entrepreneurs to raise money through
the Internet. And he touted the successes of the Small Business
Administration, pointing out that Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank once got a
hand from the SBA and now runs a company with revenues near $1 billion a
year.

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Historically, marriages have been defined at the state level. And there's a conversation going on. … There's some states that are still having the debate. And I think for us to try to legislate federally into this is probably the wrong way to go," Obama said. "The courts are going to be examining these issues. I've stood up and said I'm opposed to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. … There are a couple of cases that are working their way through the courts, and my expectation is that DOMA will be overturned. But, ultimately, I believe that if we have that conversation at the state level, the evolution that's taking place in this country will get us to a place where we are going to be recognizing everybody fairly."

Obama also took time to highlight the differences between his views on women's reproductive rights and those of his opponent, Mitt Romney — "I believe women should be able to make their own health care decisions; Governor Romney disagrees. He wants to defund Planned Parenthood … he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade; I think that's a profound mistake," he said — and address hot-button issues like gun control and reforming our nation's energy policy.

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Of course, the discussion wasn't always about public policy. Obama joked that, if re-elected to a second term, he wouldn't worry about his daughter Malia dating, since "she's got Secret Service," and even admitted that he sadly hasn't had much time to update his iPod ("I've been working a little hard right now," he deadpanned), but he does still listen to the Roots, and he wants to see more musical acts follow in their political ways.

* * *

MTV also invited Obama's opponent, Mitt Romney, to participate in a similar live special, and hopes to conduct an interview with him in advance of Election Day on November 6.

Yeah, good luck with that. Mittens is avoiding the media like the plague down the stretch.

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