Former Clinton adviser slams Biden’s student loan debt handout: ‘This is terrible policy’

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Former adviser to Bill Clinton Paul Begala criticized President Biden's student loan debt handout on Sunday during CNN's “State of the Union,” saying it was “terrible policy.” 

“Well it's bad policy as well as bad politics. For that amount of money, you could fund free pre-k for every 3 and 4-year-old for 10 years. You can do a lot more good for poor people, communities of color and the underprivileged by doing pre-k. You could forgive all medical debt, which unlike student debt is not freely entered into,” Begala said, adding that he was a “progressive.” 

He said that Biden's plan was “terrible policy,” and noted Ohio Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan, who also came out against Biden's plan. 

Begala said Ryan's race in Ohio was “tight” and that he couldn't “stand this idea.”

STUDENT LOAN HANDOUT: WALL STREET JOURNAL ROASTS BIDEN'S ‘INFLATION EXPANSION ACT’

Former Clinton adviser Paul Begala slams Biden's student loan debt handout. 

Former Clinton adviser Paul Begala slams Biden's student loan debt handout. 
(Screenshot/CNN/StateOfTheUnion)

He listed multiple Democrats who didn't like the idea, as it might hurt their election chances, such as Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Col. 

“What is my party doing with this? They’re disadvantaging — I think they’re not helping the people we’re here to help, which is poor people and underprivileged communities. And they’re not helping their politicians who are running,” Begala said. 

Ashley Allison, the former National Coalitions Director for Biden-Harris 2020, disagreed with Begala and said she believed voters would turn out again, as they did in 2020, for student loan debt forgiveness. 

Alyssa Farah Griffin, former White House communications director, said the president's plan didn't do anything to address the root cause. 

EX-OBAMA ADVISER JASON FURMAN RIPS  BIDEN’S STUDENT LOAN HANDOUT AS ‘INFLATIONARY,’ ‘RECKLESS’ OVERREACH

Alyssa Farah Griffin is the guest co-host and Kellyanne Conway is the guest on The View, airing Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) 

Alyssa Farah Griffin is the guest co-host and Kellyanne Conway is the guest on The View, airing Tuesday, May 24, 2022. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) 
( Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)

“It plays to this the notion, I’m sorry, but that the Democrats are becoming a party of elites. And Donald Trump played to that. There’s a reason working Americans turned out for Donald Trump, who I’m no fan of, but this is playing right into that,” she said. 

CNN political commentator Scott Jennings said that he believes we've reached the “joker phase” of the Biden presidency.

“He’s riding a parade float down Pennsylvania Avenue just tossing money out the window here. And it’s totally lawless, it's completely unconstitutional, it completely is in violation of our norm. You got a president in, with no agreement from Congress spending up to half a trillion dollars. This is a massive, massive thing. And it’s unprecedented,” Jennings said. 

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 9: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks before signing the agreement for Finland and Sweden to be included in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the East Room of the White House on August 9, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 9: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks before signing the agreement for Finland and Sweden to be included in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the East Room of the White House on August 9, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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“And Biden ran as someone who was going to restore our norms and restore the balance and restore our, you know, laws and institutions. And this is completely in opposition to all of that, all for politics,” he continued, arguing that it was a “pay off for the 2024 primary.” 

The president announced his student loan debt handout on Wednesday, which would cancel $10,000 of federal student loan debt for borrowers making under $125,000 per year, and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. 

Biden also extended the pause on student loan payments to the end of December. 

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