Right Wingers Huff And Puff After White House’s Viral Student Loan Smack Talk

Dark Brandon. Getty Image/Twitter/TPM Illustration.
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Dark Brandon got his hands on the White House Twitter account Thursday. 

The account, known for anodyne posts boosting Democrats’ accomplishments and sharing information about administration initiatives, unleashed a series of aggressive tweets to swat down GOP detractors of the new student loan forgiveness program

In each, the account quote-tweeted the Republican complaining, and spelled out how big of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan they’d had forgiven — often to the tune of $1 million or more. The student loan program will forgive up to $10,000 in loans for those making less than $125,000 a year, and $20,000 for those who went to school on Pell Grants. 

While Democrats cheered the White House’s newfound feistiness, Republicans expressed their extreme displeasure. 

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), who the White House said had $1.4 million PPP loans forgiven, was the first of those called out in the thread to respond. 

“Another ignorant attack from a career politician who has never created a single job,” he tweeted. “74 days before midterms, Joe Biden is targeting business owners for protecting their employees from government lockdowns.” 

“President Trump always supported American workers and job creators,” he added, wistfully.

Other GOP lawmakers who hadn’t been highlighted by the White House were loath to miss out on the action. 

“President Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan could not be more different, despite his lame attempts to draw similarities between the two,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote in an op-ed on Fox Business’ website, explaining his past support of PPP. 

“This is a handout that primarily benefits the highly educated and already well-off, the laptop liberals and Marxist misfit activists who have never run a business, made payroll, or worried about something other than what pronouns to use,” he added.  

Rep. Bryon Donalds (R-FL), a freshman who identifies himself as “liberty loving” and “pro-Trump,” called the tweets “trash.” 

“This is trash coming from an idiotic White House,” he tweeted. “PPP funds were designed to be forgiven, because the government shut down the economy. Student loans were designed to be paid back… I should know I paid mine back earlier this year. Where is my check Joe?????”

Some other big names in the MAGA universe were eager to frame the tweets as an attack on business owners. 

Right wing commentator Ben Shapiro, in particular, was antsy to hear about loans being forgiven for Democratic leaders, most of whom are in their 70s and 80s and would have obtained their degrees when the cost of tuition was in the low four figures.

“As long as the White House is targeting businessowners who were locked down and who used PPP to pay their employees, let’s find out how many top Democrats have student loans they’re about to pay off with your money,” he tweeted. 

Former NRSC advisor Matt Whitlock chimed in: “This is mind-numbingly stupid – does anyone in this White House actually know what PPP loans were?”

And finally, as a bonus — even members of the never-Trumper contingent are tut-tutting at the White House’s plum lack of civility. 

“Old fogey here: If Democrats want to defend the student loan forgiveness program by attacking critics whose businesses took PPP loans (I’m doubtful this really works politically, but whatever), they’re free to so,” Bill Kristol humphed. “But it shouldn’t be done from the White House account.”

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