Mike Huckabee returned to the subject of greedy young people wanting government help paying for college in an interview with Iowa radio host Simon Conway yesterday, telling Conway that only he “can speak the common-sense language of the people” and tell them that if college education is free, they won’t appreciate it and will “probably cut class.”
When Conway asked Huckabee about voters wanting “free stuff” from the government, the presidential candidate responded by recalling a conversation that he had had that very day with a “young lady” who wanted “free college.”
I think, ultimately, we have to make the case to the American people. And this is one of the reasons, I feel like, that I would be the best candidate, because I can speak to the common-sense language of the people and explain to them, as I did to a young lady today who asked me, she said, ‘What can you do to maybe see that I can have free college?’
And I said, ‘I would never try to get you free college, because if we gave it to you free when you were 20, you’d be paying for it when you were 30, 40 and 50, and the fact is there’s no such thing as free.’ And I went on to explain to her that if we gave it to you for free, you wouldn’t appreciate it, you’d probably cut class. I’d like to give it to you with a way that if you were willing to serve your country, either in the military or some other way, we would give you credit for that and help you with your educational expenses. But rather than give it to you free, let’s ask of your generation to invest in this country and we’ll be willing to invest in you. But as far as just providing free books and free education and free everything, with $20 trillion of debt, first of all, we financially can’t do it, but it’s not a point of responsibility to do that at all.