LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It was the roar that hundreds of supporters used to greet Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, who stood arm and arm with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in their first campaign appearance together.
Though no more than a quarter of the crowd appeared to be students, the two women spoke about the need to help graduates manage more than $1 trillion of outstanding student loan debt across America.
“Alison really spoke to me when she said the teacher who’s trying to get her master’s but can afford it – that’s me because I need to get mine and I can’t figure out a plan right now. I can really relate to what she was saying,” recent University of Louisville graduate Megan Bishop said.
Senator Warren recently tried passing a bill that would allow students and graduates to refinance their loans by increasing taxes on people making between $1 and $2 million. She had majority support in the Senate but not enough to push it past republican opposition.
“We got the two independents, we even picked up three Republicans to move this bill forward but Mitch McConnell led the filibuster and so we fell two votes short of breaking the filibuster. Why do I tell you this story? You send us Alison Lundergan Grimes instead of Mitch McConnell and you change the world,” Warren said to applause.
Unlike Grimes, Warren is a liberal Democrat who has taken stances against coal and is in favor of gun control.
“Senator Warren just told you we don’t agree on every issue but we do agree that Washington isn’t working,” Grimes said.
Megan Good, another recent graduate from the University of Louisville, says Grimes’ association with Warren doesn’t bother her.
“I think we have a problem in this country where we think that if people have different opinions that there’s no way they can work together to create a solution for all people. Just seeing two women come together and say ‘we can do better’ and even if they don’t agree on all fronts, there is still some change to be made in there,” she said.
Though enthusiasm inside the UofL’s Red Barn was contagious, a group waiting outside was immune.
“Don’t vote Grimes, read between the lines,” they chanted.
They believe Grimes will bend to the will of her would be colleagues who lean further to the left.
“While she’s representing the best interest of Kentucky in her mind, she’s also going to have to answer to the Democrats,” Aaron Duvall, student and member of the UofL College Republicans said.
Detractors of Warren’s student loan bill point out that it would not have helped students with private loans that weren’t in good standing.
They also oppose the tax increase on people making between $1 and $2 million called in for the bill.