Obama attacks Romney over education funding
(CBS News) LAS VEGAS - Making a campaign issue of funding for education, President Obama on Wednesday portrayed Mitt Romney as oblivious to the needs of America's schools and students.
He said Romney would rather cut funding for education than cancel tax cuts for the super-rich.
"Governor Romney says we've got enough teachers, we don't need anymore," Mr. Obama told a rally in a high school gymnasium a short drive from the casinos of the Vegas strip.
The president said Romney's budget plan would cut would cut America's investment in education by nearly 20 percent.
"He's not making these cuts because he wants to create jobs or pay down the deficit," said Mr. Obama. "He's doing it to pay for a new $5 trillion tax cut that's weighted towards the wealthiest Americans."
"So I've got a question for Governor Romney," he continued. "How many teachers' jobs are worth another tax cut for millionaires and billionaires?"
A Romney campaign spokeswoman fired back, accusing Mr. Obama of desperation and misrepresenting Romney's policies.
"Mitt Romney has a bold plan to reform our schools and provide all our young people with the skills they need to succeed," said Romney spokesperson Amanda Henneberg.
She said the Romney-Ryan plan for a stronger middle class will deliver 12 million new jobs, getting young Americans - and all Americans - back to work.
She also said Mr. Obama's concern about class size is at odds with his own Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who has said, "class size has been a sacred cow, and I think we need to take it on."
The president also took aim at Romney's running mate Paul Ryan, saying he led the move in the House of Representatives to block the jobs bill that would have helped keep teachers on the job or re-hire those laid off. His audience booed Ryan.
"No, no, no, no, no. Don't boo - vote," the president told them.
Mr. Obama was making his sixth visit this year to Nevada, a state he won in 2008 by a margin of 55 percent to John McCain's 43 percent. His game plan for re-election cannot afford to let the state's six electoral votes slip to his opponent in November.
Recent polls show Nevada to be a swing state with Mr. Obama and Romney running within the margin-of-error of one another.
Some 2,100 supporters filled the gym at Canyon Springs High School, though at one point a heckler tried to interrupt Mr. Obama.
"That young man probably needed a good teacher," said the president to applause from his audience, which chanted "four more years" to overpower the heckler's shouts.
Mr. Obama's lectern today carried the presidential seal. Usually, his lecterns at political events are adorned with a placard bearing his campaign's motto: "Forward."
At the end of his speech, Mr. Obama summed up his bid for re-election with a high-voltage, decibel-raising climax.
"We've got more work to do. We've got more good teachers to hire," he said. "We've got more good schools to build. We've got more young people to send to college. We've got more good jobs to create. We've got more solar panels we've got to create. We've got more troops we've got to bring home. We've got more veterans we've got to help. We've got more doors of opportunity we've got to open up to every single American."
He appealed to anyone in his audience not yet registered to vote to do so today - or at the very least, do so by going online at GottaRegister.com.
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