Democrat Hillary Clinton told a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio on Monday that she wants to "make it right" for "hard-working Americans," including debt-burdened college students. "Let's set the goal of making college debt-free for everyone," Clinton said, without giving details. In her remarks, she pointed to one of her own campaign volunteers: "Let's make it right for young people, like Erica Roitblat in West Lake (Ohio)," Clinton said. "She dreamed her whole life of going to Ohio University in Athens. But the housing crash in 2008 wiped out her parents' savings and their small business. So to get her college degree at a public university, Erica wound up $100,000 in debt. We cannot let this student debt crisis continue; we have got to give hard-working students and families relief.
"And you know what Erica is doing now?" Clinton continued. "She is volunteering for our campaign and working to elect Democrats across Ohio." (So, according to Mrs. Clinton, a young women with $100,000 in student debt is working for no money.) Clinton told the crowd she got into the presidential race "because I wanted to even the odds for people who have the odds stacked against them. And this is not a time for half measures," she said. She laid out "five ambitious goals" for the economy, including goal number two: "Let's set the goal of making college debt-free for everyone, like Erica," Clinton said. "And let's provide debt relief -- let's provide debt relief as soon as we can, as soon as we start to work, Elizabeth," Clinton said, addressing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who was campaigning with her.
"We'll take the day off for the inauguration, and then the Senate, the Congress, the White House, we're going to get to work to give students and their families relief from this debt." On his Monday talk-radio program, conservative host Rush Limbaugh predicted that Clinton plans to forgive all outstanding student loans. "I'm going to make a prediction to you," Limbaugh said. "And I've been expecting this for a long time. I think, at some point in this campaign, Hillary is going to propose forgiving all outstanding student loans. "She got close to it today (Monday) by saying it was unconscionable or outrageous that students should incur so much debt just trying to get an education. You mark my words. And Obama and the Democrats run the student loan program now. So, at just the right time, they can announce a plan to forgive all student loans. You wait. Don't be surprised."
Clinton's rival Bernie Sanders campaigned on a promise of free college tuition for everyone: "I'm going to have a tax on Wall Street speculation to make certain that public colleges and universities in America are tuition free," Sanders said at the Democrat debate on Dec. 20, 2015. Clinton told the same debate, "I have debt-free tuition plans, free community college plans, getting student debt down." At the time, she directed people to the "New College Compact" found on her campaign website. That compact says: Students should never have to borrow to pay for tuition, books, and fees to attend a four-year public college in their state under the New College Compact. Pell Grants are not included in the calculation of no-debt-tuition, so Pell recipients will be able to use their grants fully for living expenses. Students at community college will receive free tuition.