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August 28th, 2012
12:57 PM ET

Rep. Schock on Romney and youth vote: Obama may have 'sizzle factor' but at end of the day young people want someone who will get them a job

President Obama and Mitt Romney may be neck and neck in recent polls, but the former Massachusetts Governor does have one serious gap to close: 73% of voters ages 18 to 34 right now support President Obama or are leaning that way. Only 25% say they are in Mitt Romney's corner, according to a CNN poll from earlier this month.

What does Mitt Romney do about this? He might have a secret weapon on his side. It's the youngest member of Congress, 31-year-old Rep Aaron Schock (R-Ill.). He talks with John Berman on "Starting Point" to explain what Romney needs to do to capture the youth vote.

"I've spent well over 10 days campaigning with [the Romneys]," Rep. Schock says. "Two days nonstop on the bus in Iowa and he is a fun, fun guy. I mean anybody who has raised five boys knows how to have some fun."

"The intensity among young people is much lower now than it was four years ago, which is a problem for the President," he adds. "They have really been disenfranchised by the kind of bringing the country together, solving our problems and now a much more divisive and negative campaign. I think that's turned off a lot of young people. When I'm visiting with young people, their major issues are economic issues. They are very disheartened by the fact that half of their graduates last year are still unemployed today. And I think that's a huge opportunity for Republicans who are unified on economic issues to make the case to young people."

"While there may be a certain cool factor with the President...look he has news conferences at the White House to show his NCAA picks. You know, he's seen playing volleyball on the beach in Hawaii. There's a certain sizzle factor. But at the end of the day, young people want - somebody is going to get him a job. And I think that's where Mitt Romney has the strength," he says.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Mark Newsom

    My hope is that young voters cast a grounded vote and not simply who they "like." About a week ago a young female college student was interviewed on NPR after President Obama visited her school. ON his visit, he made an unscheduled appearance at the cafe on campus and met some of the students. The young lady being interviewed said of President Obama, "Oh he's so sweet...I Like him...I don't like the other guy..." One of CNN's FB fans said about a month ago, "He got swag. He can sing. Fo mo years, deal wit it." We can only hope that young voters have more depth than these two. Young voters, regardless of who you vote for, take your vote seriously and vote with some degree of intellect. Sweetness, swag, and winning a karaoke contest does not lead an army, does not lead a nation, and does not fix the economy. And finally, the race or economic position of the candidate does not dictate their ability to empathize or understand. To think that it does is just illogical and ignorant. Either way you vote, use your head.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse | Reply

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