Tampa, Fla. — In accepting the Republican nomination for president on Thursday night, Mitt Romney vowed to spur job creation, repeal President Obama’s health-care law, and cut the federal deficit.
Mr. Romney mentioned higher-education issues only briefly, addressing the issue within the broader context of building economic prosperity. And like his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, he made the plight of debt-burdened, underemployed college graduates part of that theme.
“Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future,” Mr. Romney said.
In introducing Mr. Romney, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also spoke about the burden of student loans as part of his broader economic narrative. Neither Mr. Rubio nor Mr. Romney offered any policy proposals aimed specifically at college affordability.
“Maybe you did everything you were told you needed to do to get ahead. You studied hard and finished school,” Mr. Rubio said. “But now, you owe thousands of dollars in student loans. You can’t find a job in your field. And you’ve moved back in with your parents.”
Mr. Rubio’s speech was preceded by an appearance by the actor Clint Eastwood, who also weighed in on student loans, albeit in a joke. In rambling comedy routine that involved his speaking to an empty chair representing President Obama, Mr. Eastwood joked that Mr. Obama should just give up and let Mr. Romney take over as president.
“You can maybe still use a plane,” he said, addressing Mr. Obama, to applause from the crowd. “Though maybe a smaller one. Not that big gas guzzler you are going around to colleges and talking about student loans and stuff like that.”