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Crist Pitches Tuition Loan-Forgiveness Plan as Part of Middle Class Boosting Program

| August 6, 2014

Charlie Crist makes his pitches. (Facebook)

Charlie Crist makes his pitches. (Facebook)

With education expected to be a key issue in this year’s gubernatorial campaign, Democratic candidate Charlie Crist on Tuesday announced tuition-loan forgiveness and refinancing programs as part of a “middle class jobs and opportunity plan.”

The plan, announced during a news conference in Fort Lauderdale, featured a number of education-related proposals as well as several previously discussed ideas, such as increasing the minimum wage and expanding access to health care.

“To ensure that everyone has a fair shot, Florida needs a governor who will invest in them, not just the big corporations,” Crist, a former Republican governor, said in a prepared statement.

Crist, who attacked Republican Gov. Rick Scott over past education-funding cuts and for failing to expand health care, called the plan “Fair Shot Florida.”

Even before it was released, the plan was panned by Sen. John Thrasher, a St. Augustine Republican who is Scott’s campaign chairman.

“It’s hard to take Charlie Crist seriously on ‘jobs and opportunity’ — because he hurt Florida’s economy so much as governor, he didn’t even want his own job,” Thrasher said in a statement issued by the Scott campaign more than three hours before Crist’s announcement. “Charlie Crist had his shot at being governor — but he failed, then ran away.”

Thrasher was referring to Crist’s decision to run unsuccessfully in 2010 for a U.S. Senate seat rather than seeking a second term as governor.

This year’s campaign has been dominated by negative ads and attacks, but in recent weeks Crist and Scott have started offering some policy proposals. As an example, Scott on Monday released a plan dealing with environmental issues.

Education, ranging from public schools to colleges and universities, will be a closely watched issue throughout the campaign. Among other things, Scott has campaigned on his efforts to hold down tuition costs in the higher-education system.

Crist’s new plan also touches on college-affordability issues. In part, it would:

— Create a loan-forgiveness program for students who graduate from state universities or colleges, study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related fields, stay in Florida at least five years and are employed in their fields of study.

— Expand to other schools the concept of the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars Program. That University of Florida program provides financial assistance to low-income students who are the first in their families to attend college.

— Create a student-loan financing authority to help struggling graduates refinance debt.

–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida

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16 Responses for “Crist Pitches Tuition Loan-Forgiveness Plan as Part of Middle Class Boosting Program”

  1. ogrethetop says:

    do we have a third choice?

  2. Flatsflyer says:

    Thrasher, is a career politician (criminal) who can be bought for a campaign donation of less than $1,000. So many have paid those bribes, Thrasher is now a rich man. He and his criminal pal, the Fraudster have done more damage to the State of Florida than all the hurricanes of the last 100 years. The damage that Thrasher refers to was the the Great Recession which if anyone with an ounce of brains understand that it was caused by two unfunded wars and others things put on the credit card by Bush and his Conservative Co-harts.

  3. confidential says:

    Right on Flats!
    Looks like we are having the biggest reception of absentee ballots in Volusia and Flagler lately and hopefully all that voted those, remembered yours and also my realities as you perfectly describe them.

  4. Sorry Charlie says:

    Sorry Charlie…we all know your a traitor and coward. Promising the “kiddies” that your going to pay off their student loans is just another “Liberal Shuffle” that always cost the American taxpayer more money . And that adds to the already SKYHIGH debt our country is in…STOP LYING CHARLIE and go away !!!

  5. m&m says:

    Well said Sorry Charlie. Crist is a looser and traitor.

  6. Ken Dodge says:

    I’ll have a Kool-Aid refill, and another helping of wealth redistribution, too.

  7. Bill says:

    Don’t like either one as ogrethetop said cant we have another viable choice???

  8. Let's see now says:

    I meet ALL your requirements already and I’d be happy to give you my loans. How far back you gonna go?

  9. Ray Thorne says:

    Wouldn’t that just make it harder to get a loan?

  10. Anonymous says:

    You know Charlie is desperate when he start promises free money.

    Christ has been hanging out with the failed obama so now he is keen on turning Florida into a socialist state.

  11. karma says:

    I first wondered if Charlie Christ had truly became a Democrat. This story laid all my concerns to rest. Charlie has made the switch. A handout from government for a vote from you.

  12. Mary says:

    Why only in STEM areas? Why are you discriminating against non STEM degree holders, Mr Crist? Shouldn’t an education in rhetoric – a politician’s prize possession – be of value too? And what of the subjects that one must be taught to develop this fine art? Surely, they must count. Shame on you!

  13. wolley segap says:

    If you knew, before lending someone a large amount of money, that there was a possibility they would not have to pay you back, what is the likelihood you’ll loan them the money? Someone will have to pay it back. The taxpayer is that someone.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Christ? Ha ha haaaaaa haaaaaa ha ha. You cannot be serious!

  15. karma says:

    Now that he changed his party affiliation, maybe he could have a name change too. Charlie Clause sounds about right.

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