Rep. Todd Akin is not one to mince words.
At a policy debate on Saturday, the Missouri Republican slammed federal student loans, saying that the government should quit the student loan market completely.
"America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in," Akin said, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.
(Above, Obama's response to Akin. Video of Akin's original comment below)
Akin is one of three candidates seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Claire McCaskill in November. McCaskill is seen as one of the more vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election this year. Conservative groups are wasting no time, spending more than $3 million on television and radio ads in Missouri to date, according to the Washington Post.
Akin's opposition to federal student loans is nothing new. He voted against the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act in 2009, warning that it would result in lost jobs and increased government debt. "This bill should serve as a warning to the depth of the Democrat majority’s appetite for the consolidation of federal control and the dismantling of private industry," he said in a press release.
The bill, which was signed into law in 2010, dramatically expanded financial aid for college students and restructured student aid programs.
Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, signaled a rare agreement with President Barack Obama on Monday when he said that he fully supports Obama's effort to extend current interest rates on federal student loans. To the dismay of approximately 8 million students, the rate is set to double to 6.8 percent this summer.
Whether or not Akin will get the chance to face McCaskill in the fall is still unclear. He has the backing of at least two prominent social conservatives: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) both endorsed him in April.
If he does end up winning the GOP nomination, the race has at least a chance of being civil. McCaskill found herself sitting behind Akin on a plane last month. "He's always friendly and polite," she tweeted. "I appreciate that."
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