GOP ad blitz mocks Biden’s student loan plan

GOP ad blitz mocks Biden’s student loan plan

The American Action Network, a conservative advocacy organization with ties to House GOP leadership, is going up with a national ad campaign for the next 10 days arguing President Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan is unfair to working-class Americans.

Why it matters: Republicans are confident that the president’s plan will be politically problematic, and are backing up their spin with paid advertising.

  • The ad, which will be airing during upcoming college football and Major League Baseball games, features a waitress, mechanic and landscaper talking about working extra shifts to help theatre majors and business majors get out of debt.
  • A landscaper in the spot says: ” Biden’s right — you should take my tax dollars to pay off your debts. My family will figure out how to get by with less. What’s most important is we spare college graduates from any extra stress.” A mechanic follows up: “Wanna be a struggling artist? College is on me.”

The big picture: Republicans aren’t the only critics. Within hours of the president’s announcement Wednesday, several Democratic lawmakers in swing states and districts announced their opposition to Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan.

  • One Democratic official told Axios: “This was our best political week in a year, and the Biden White House immediately stepped into it.”
  • Jim Kessler, executive vice president for policy at the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way, said the plan is “fiscally reckless, unjustified on policy grounds, likely unconstitutional, politically fraught.”
  • But progressive Democrats have been pushing to relieve the burdens of student loan debt for years. Biden said his plan “means people can start to finally crawl out from under that mountain of debt to get on top of their rent and their utilities, to finally think about buying a home or starting a family or starting a business.”

By the numbers: AAN is spending $350,000 for the national ad campaign. The campaign will also microtarget blue-collar voters on digital platforms.

  • “Working Americans shouldn’t have to foot the bill for a handout to coddled elite college graduates who don’t like having to pay what they owe,” AAN President Dan Conston told Axios.

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