Huffpost Politics

Obama On Jimmy Fallon: President Discusses Student Loans, Mitt Romney, Secret Service Scandal

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President Obama appeared on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" Tuesday night, where he discussed his proposal for lower-rate student loans, the secret service prostitution scandal and his impressions of likely GOP rival Mitt Romney.

Obama opened the interview by arriving to "slow-jam the news," a regular segment on Fallon's show.

"I'm President Barack Obama, and I, too, want to slow-jam the news," Obama said. He then discussed the merits of keeping student loan rates low while the show's house band, The Roots, played in the background.

"Now is not the time to make school more expensive for our young people," he said. "There's some in Congress who disagree. They say keeping the interest rate low isn't a way to help our students. They say we should be doing everything we can to pay down the national debt -- well, so long as it doesn't include taxing billionaires."

Obama returned to the topic while discussing his college years with Fallon. According to Obama, he and his wife, Michelle, accrued a large amount of debt while earning their undergraduate and law school degrees.

"For the first 10 years of our marriage, we were still paying stuff off, even when we were supposed to be saving for Malia and Sasha," Obama said. "We didn't pay off all of our student loans until about eight years ago."

When asked by Fallon what legislation he would enact if he could bypass Congress, the president shifted his focus to energy and high fuel prices, an area his critics have focused on as a potential weak spot.

"Along with getting our education system right, another big piece of business is energy," Obama said. "We've gotta make sure that we're investing in the clean energy sources of the future -- solar, wind, biofuels."

"That's what's going to prevent these gas-price spikes that hurt so many people," he added.

The president also spoke about his likely GOP opponent Romney, and his wife, Ann.

"I've met him, but we're not friends," Obama said. "His wife is lovely."

Obama also described the former Massachusetts governor as someone who "cares deeply about his family."

However, Obama did take the opportunity to express his opposition to super PACs, which he noted played a big role in the ugly nature of this year's GOP primary season.

"That's part of our democracy that we're going to have to fix," he said, stating that the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling had created a political climate with "no accountability."

When asked about the Secret Service prostitution scandal, which has brought a great deal of attention to the agency, Obama praised the men who protect him.

"The secret service, these guys are incredible," Obama said. "They protect me, they protect Michelle, they protect our girls, they protect our officials all around the world. 99.9 percent of them, every day, they're putting their life on the line, they do a great job. So, a couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from that they do. What these guys were thinking, I don't know. That's why they're not there anymore."

Obama's interview with Fallon was taped on Tuesday afternoon at the University of North Carolina, where he had just given a speech on lower student loan rates.

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