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Good evening from Hofstra university in Hempstead New York I'm Candy Crowley from CNN's state of the union.
We are here for the second presidential debate at town hall sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
The Gallup organization chose 82 uncommitted voters from the New York area -- questions will drive the night.
My goal is to get the conversation direction and to ensure questions get answered.
The questions are known to me and my team only neither the commission nor the candidates have seen them.
I hope to get to as many questions as possible and because I am optimistic sort.
I'm sure the candidates will oblige by keeping their answers concise and on point.
Each candidate has as much as two minutes to respond to a common question and that will be a two minute follow up.
The audience here in the hall has agreed to be polite and attentive no cheering or -- or outbursts of any sort.
We will set aside that agreement just this once to welcome president Barack Obama and governor -- rock.
Gentlemen thank you both for joining us here tonight we have a lot of folks have been waiting all day -- -- it's -- wanna get right to it.
-- governor Romney as you know you won the coin toss so the first question we'll go to you.
And I want to turn to a first time voter.
It Jeremy Epstein who has a question like.
There's a president governor Romney.
As a twenty year old college student all I hear from professors neighbors and others is that when I graduate -- -- little -- to get employment.
Can what can you say to reassure me but more importantly my parents that I'll be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate.
Thank you Jeremy I appreciate your your question and I thank you for being here this evening -- -- all of those from NASA -- here that have come thank you for your time.
Thank you -- posture university and a Candy Crowley for organizing and leading this at this event thank you Mr.
President also for being part of this this debate.
Years question your question is one that's being asked by college kids all over this country.
As in Pennsylvania with someone who just graduated.
This is in Philadelphia and she said I've I've got my degree I can't find a job I've got three part time jobs.
They're just barely enough to pay for my food and pay for an apartment I can't begin to pay back my student loans.
So we have to do is two things we have to make sure that we make it easier for kids to afford college and also make sure that when they get out of college there's a job.
When -- governor of Massachusetts.
Get a high school degree he had to pass an exam if you graduated in the top quarter -- your class.
We gave you -- John and Abigail Adams scholarship for years tuition free to the college of your choice in Massachusetts it's a public institution.
I want to make sure we keep our -- -- -- pell grant program growing we're also gonna have our loan program so that people are able to afford school.
But the key thing is to make sure you can get a job when -- get out of school.
And what's happened over the last four years have been very very hard for America's young people I want you to be able to get a job I know what it takes to get this economy going.
With half of college kids graduating this year.
Without a college action without a job and without -- college level job that's just unacceptable.
And likewise she got more more debt and your back.
So more debt and less jobs climate change that.
I know what it takes to create good jobs again I know what it takes to make sure that you have the kind of opportunity you deserve.
And kids across this country are gonna recognize we're bringing back an economy it's not going to be like the last four years the middle class has been crushed over the last four years.
And jobs have been too scarce I -- it takes to bring him back and -- -- to do that make sure when you graduate when -- graduate.
2014 when you come on 2014.
I presume -- gonna be president I gotta make sure you get a job at the -- -- yeah you bet.
-- -- -- -- first of all your future is bright in the fact that you're making investment in higher education is critical.
Not just to you but to the entire nation.
Now the most important thing we can do is to make sure that we are creating jobs in this country but not just jobs good paying jobs once the -- -- -- family.
And what I wanna do is build on the five million jobs that we created over the last thirty months in the private sector along.
And there a bunch of things that we can do to make sure your future is -- number one.
I want to build manufacturing.
Jobs in this country again.
Governor Romney said we should let Detroit go bankrupt.
I said we're gonna bet on American workers in American auto industry and it's come surging back.
I want to do that and industries not just in Detroit but all across the country.
And that means we change our tax -- were giving incentives to companies they're investing here in the United States and creating jobs here.
It also means we're helping them and small businesses to export all around the world -- new markets.
We've got to make sure that we had the best education system in the world in the fact that you're going to college.
Is great but I want everybody to get a great education and we worked hard to make sure that student loans are available for folks like you.
But I also want to make sure that Community Colleges are offering slots for workers to get retrained for the jobs that are out there right now -- the jobs of the future.
We've got to control our own energy.
Help not only oil and natural gas which we've been investing in but also got to make sure work.
Building the energy source of the future -- just think about next year but ten years from now twenty years from now that's why we invest in solar and wind and biofuels.
Energy efficient cars we've got to reduce our deficit but we gotta do and a balanced way.
-- the -- to -- a bit more along with cuts so we can invest in education like yours and let's take the money that we've been spending.
On war over the last decade to rebuild America.
Roads bridges schools we do those things not always your future going to be bright but America's future's going to be bright as well.
Let me ask you for a more immediate answer begin mr.
Romley just quickly what -- what.
Can you do we're looking at a situation where 40% of the unemployed have been unemployed for six months or more they don't have that fears that Jeremy past.
Those long term unemployed who needed job right now.
Well what -- saying in this country is 23 million people struggling to find a job and a lot of them as you say candy about a work for a long long long time.
The president's policies have been exercised over the last four years and they haven't put Americans back to work.
We have fewer people working today that we have when the president took office.
If the -- of the employment rate was seven point 8% when he took office at seven point 8% now.
But if you calculated that unemployment rate taking back the people who dropped out of the workforce it would be ten point 7%.
We have not made the progress we need to make to put people back to work that's -- -- a five point plan.
Think gets America twelve million new jobs in four years.
And rising take home pay it's gonna help Jeremy get a job when he comes -- school -- help people across the country that are unemployed right now.
And one thing that that the president said which I want to make sure that we understand he he said that I say we should take Detroit bankrupt.
-- and that's right my plan was to have the company goes through bankruptcy like 7-Eleven did it may season and that Continental Airlines and come out stronger.
And and I know he keeps saying he wanted to take he -- bankrupt well the president took Detroit bankrupt you took General Motors bankrupt.
You took -- are bankrupt so when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt you actually did.
And and I think it's important to know that that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet.
So they could start hiring more people that was precisely what I recommended and ultimately what happened let me let me give the president -- ahead.
Kennedy -- governor Romney served just took control.
You want take them into bankruptcy without providing them any way to stay open.
-- a -- lost a million jobs.
And that don't hurt my work for protect the executives at GM and Chrysler some of whom were Republicans -- sport governor around -- But they'll tell -- -- prescription wasn't gonna work.
Another mommy says he's got a five point plan governor running doesn't have a five point plan as a one point point.
And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by different set -- -- That's been his philosophy.
In the private sector that's been his philosophy -- governor that's been his philosophy as a presidential candidate.
You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates and somebody.
-- makes a lot less you can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for.
You can invest in a company bankrupt it.
Lay off the -- strip away the pensions and you still make money.
That's exactly the philosophy we've seen in place.
-- the last decade that's what's been squeezing middle class families.
And we have fought back for four years to get out of that that's the last thing we need to do is to go back to the very same policies.
The got a -- Mr.
President next question is gonna be for you here mr.
Riley and governor Romney they'll be plenty of chances here to go I'm gonna wanna that it all these semifinals let you add Detroit answer and there -- I answer I got the mark okay -- -- -- you've certainly we'll have lots of time.
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