TAYLOR, MI – Barack Obama took his economic tour to the next generation of workers today, speaking to students at Wayne County Community College about the link between the economy and education.
"Our economy is changing at a breathtaking pace. You need different skills to make a good living than you did twenty years ago," Obama told the small group of students. "As folks in Michigan know all too well, young people today will be competing throughout their lives with people halfway around the world – in Beijing and Bangalore, Japan and South Korea."
He presented his plan on college affordability, which includes a $4,000 tax credit for all students. Obama also had harsh criticism for his Republican opponent, John McCain, whom he accused of being out of touch with the working people.
"When it comes to education, Senator McCain is out of touch with the needs of hardworking Americans," Obama said, "It's not just that he doesn't have a real plan to make college affordable; it's that he's voted time and time again to stop us from making college affordable."
The McCain campaign quickly noted that he has been discussing his plan to reform the unemployment system and strengthen community colleges for over a year. Campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said McCain discussed the importance of community colleges in a speech in Memphis in April, 2007.
Earlier in the day, Obama met with a student from the college and her financial aid counselor. Marilyn Pace, who is studying to be a dental hygienist, said she is $1,500 short of paying her tuition due, in part, to high gas prices.
Pace said, "Gas prices being $4 a gallon and I can't work hardly as much as I used to before and I've started using that money for gas money."