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President Barack Obama targets college message in visit to Pennsylvania

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:04:49 AM EST   Updated On: Aug 23 2013 06:46:11 PM EDT
Obama in Syracuse bus tour

REUTERS/Jason Reed


President Barack Obama visited Scranton on Friday to tout his plan for college affordability as a way to keep down student debt and improve the earning power of more young people.

The Friday evening visit to Lackawanna College was President Obama's first to Pennsylvania in more than a year.

During his speech, the president noted that states have been cutting higher education budgets and then singled out cuts to education spending in Pennsylvania under Gov. Tom Corbett as "brutal."

Corbett, who's running for re-election next year, responded in a campaign statement that blamed money from President Obama's recessionary aid to states for "artificially" increasing Pennsylvania's education budget to unsustainable levels.  

Mr. Obama appeared with two Scranton natives, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Vice President Joe Biden, as he ended a two-day swing through New York and Pennsylvania.

Biden told the hometown crowd that his son Beau, Delaware's attorney general, is doing well after undergoing a medical procedure at a Houston cancer center earlier this week.

Biden said his son is "fine" and eager to get back to work.

Beau Biden, 44, was admitted to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center after becoming weak and disoriented last week.

The White House said he had a successful procedure but wouldn't say what kind of procedure doctors performed.