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In Nevada, it's Romney-Ryan vs. Obama-Reid

August 21, 2012|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid looks to the stage as President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nev.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid looks to the stage as President Barack… (Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo )

RENO -- As his campaign calibrates its message to the new fight against Mitt Romney and running mate Paul D. Ryan -- a leading House Republican -- President Obama repeatedly singled out the Senate’s top Democrat as he took his education message to Nevada on Tuesday evening.

In the audience for Obama’s campaign rally at a community college here was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, elected in 2010 to his fifth term representing the Silver State. And in a campaign in which House Republicans have long been a proxy for attacks on Romney, Obama notably played up his partnership with Reid in fighting for the middle class.

Obama said he and Reid fought this summer to keep student loan interest rates from rising. And “with the help of Harry Reid,” his administration passed new college tax credits “so that more middle-class families can save up to $10,000 on their tuition over 10 years.” And again with Reid’s help, Obama said he passed a reform of the student loan process to have the government lend to students directly, using money that had been going to banks to expand Pell grants.

“We won that fight,” he said.

Again, Obama made no mention of Ryan, keeping his barbs directed at his counterpart on the top of the GOP ticket. Putting a college education within reach for working families “does not seem to be a priority that my opponent shares,” he said.

Romney, he noted, is running on his business background. But as “his economic plan makes clear, he doesn’t think your future is worth investing in. I do,” he said.

“Your education is not just important to you. It’s important to America’s success. When we invest in your future we’re investing in America’s future,” he said.

The stop in Reno was the third in the last four months, underscoring the importance of the region in a must-win state. Last month he addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here. In May, he held an official event focused on mortgage refinancing, a major concern in a state that still has the nation’s worst unemployment rate.

Obama will hold another education-themed event in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

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