Uh oh. Why even bother running for president if you’re not going to promise free college?

Scott Jaschik reports at Inside Higher Ed.

Christie Opposes Free Higher Ed

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, an undeclared candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, used a speech at Iowa State University Thursday to attack the idea (gaining ground in Democratic circles) of free higher education. And he got in a few digs at college spending. But the governor also spoke of the value of higher education and singled out some federal aid programs he supports.

Buzz and Buzzkill on Free Higher Education

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a candidate for the Democratic nomination, has called for free public higher education. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat whom many liberals want to run, on Tuesday proposed a path for every state to have a debt-free college option. And Hillary Clinton is expected to unveil her plan next month.

Christie came out strongly against the idea, although he stressed that he agrees that many students and families struggle to pay for college. “For too many students, they’re caught between a rock and a hard place. They can go to college, struggle to get by and face crippling debts. Or they can not go to college — and face the loss of economic opportunities and mobility that comes from that. It’s time we stop making a college education a choice between the lesser of two hardships,” he said.

But the solution isn’t free higher education, Christie was quick to add: “It’s not about just making higher education free. That is a typical liberal approach. It is wrong. And we know it. There are always costs involved, and if college graduates are going to reap the greater economic rewards and opportunities of earning a degree, then it seems fair for them to support the cost of the education they’re receiving. Earning a degree should actually involve earning it.”