President Barack Obama landed at Nellis Air Force Base just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, ending the first day of his two-stop Nevada tour.
At Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Obama focused his speech on education.
"Let's give this money directly to students," he told the crowd, referring to student loan funds.
The president also called out his Republican challenger and presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney.
The president said Romney wants to cut student aid. Instead, Obama took the opportunity to praise Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, for helping to set up a college tax credit.
"When a high school student asked Gov. Romney what he'd do to make college more affordable for families, Gov. Romney didn't say anything about grants or loan programs that help millions of students earn a college education," Obama told the crowd. "He didn't say anything about work study programs or rising college tuitions."
Romney says the president's education plans encourage students to take on more debt.
"Students are having a hard time entering the workforce and getting a job," said Mason Harrison, Nevada communications director for Mitt Romney. "The best thing we can do to help the middle class is to strengthen the economy, and that's something that President Obama, by all standards, has not done."
Reid and Obama were side by side walking out of Air Force One.
The president shook hands with several VIPs, including college student Ellie Green.
"I go to UNLV so I'm particularly interested in the education issue," she said. "So, it's nice that he comes over and shows his support, because UNLV's a really great school and there's a lot of students that are trying to get an education and he's obviously supportive of that."
Romney has said his economic plan would cut education regulation and make colleges more efficient.
On Wednesday, the president is speaking at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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