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Mitt Romney is keeping his focus on the economy and encouraged young people to “take risks” to deal with a tough job market, even if it meant borrowing money from their parents, reports the New York Daily News. At a speech at Otterbein University in Ohio, Romney talked about how the owner of sandwich chain Jimmy John’s got started by borrowing $20,000 from his father.
“We've always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it. Take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business,” Romney said.
Democratic activists quickly pounced on the remark as another example of how the presumptive Republican nominee is out of touch.
“Only someone who paid for college by selling stock given to him by his CEO father would just casually assume students could go borrow $20,000 from their parents to deal with the economic challenges they face,” a spokesman for the Center for American Progress Action Fund tells the Associated Press.
At a roundtable discussion with seven students, Romney noted engineering majors were in high demand and wondered whether students would have chosen their areas of study differently if they had been clearly told about job prospects.
“You really don’t want to take out $150,000 loan to go into English because you’re not going to be able to pay it back. You might want to think about something else that meets your interest,” Romney said, noting that “as an English major I can say this,” reports ABC News. Romney graduated with an English degree from Brigham Young University and later went on to study law and business at Harvard.
Romney’s speech was part of an effort by his campaign to continue focusing on the economy even as President Obama tries to shift focus to other issues, including national security, points out Reuters.