Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Austin to speak about the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the importance of funding an organization which helps victims find aid in situations of abuse. Funding was cut to $2.9 million because of the federal government’s budget sequestration in January, but Biden says the hotline needs $4.5 million to function.

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Austin on Wednesday to join the National Domestic Violence Hotline in commemorating its 3 millionth call.

Established in 1994 as a part of the Violence Against Women Act, the hotline is the largest resource of its kind for victims of domestic violence and dating abuse.

“This is a bittersweet moment for us,” hotline president Katie Ray-Jones said. “We’re proud of our accomplishments and amazed that we’ve answered 3 million calls, but at the same, we’re saddened that we’ve had to answer 3 million calls.”

Biden, who has visited the hotline’s headquarters three times, said the organization is crucial in helping millions of victims seek help in situations of abuse.

“There is nothing I’ve been involved with in my entire career that I’m more proud of, that I think is worth sustaining, that I think is more consequential, than the work you all have been doing,” Biden said.

According to Biden, violence against women generally has decreased in the last decade, but violence against young women specifically is on the rise. More resources are needed to expand the program and enable hotline advocates to answer more calls, he said.

“What amazes me is why we should have any problem fully funding this operation,” Biden said. “This is an absolute success — no one can argue with what has been done.”

Biden said the hotline needs at least $4.5 million dollars to function. The hotline was originally set to receive $3.2 million in federal funds annually, but because of the federal government’s budget sequestration in January, funding has been cut to $2.9 million this year, according to Biden.

“We drop somewhere around 50,000 calls,” Biden said. “We need more people, we need more resources to be able to service the demonstrable need that is there.”

Members of the UT student organization Voices Against Violence (VAV) praised the vice president for his commitment to addressing domestic violence and women’s issues.

“In the past, women’s issues haven’t always been government’s top priority,” psychology sophomore Lauren La Riva, a VAV member, said. “Biden shows that this issue is obviously important to him and the current administration.”

The Violence Against Women Act provided $500,000 in grant money to create VAV in 2000, according to Erin Burrows, who serves as health education coordinator for the organization.

“The federal funding received that puts things like that hotline and the things we do here [at VAV] into action is really valuable,” said Sydney Wilkins, a student assistant for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. “It’s important for women to know that these resources exist for them.”

The option to text and instantly connect with the hotline appeals directly to high school and college-aged victims, Ray-Jones said.

“That’s the way people prefer to communicate now,” she said. “We’re seeing our phone contact numbers decrease, but numbers to chat and text increase significantly.”

Verizon Wireless recently donated $250,000 to create a live chat system for the main hotline.

“If the tests we’ve done are any indication, this is going to make a big difference in the lives of lots of women,” Biden said.

Correction: Because of a reporting error, the article about Vice President Joe Biden in the Oct. 31 issue of the Daily Texan has been corrected. Verizon Wireless made it's donation independently.

Photo Credit: Charlie Pearce | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s Note: Vice President Joe Biden spoke in Austin on Tuesday at the National Domestic Violence Hotline headquarters. Here are five quotes from his speech:

1. “You all raised your daughters...those of you that have them.” 

— On the role parents have in shaping their children’s behavior and expectations

2. “Expect to be left alone.”

— On his hope women will be able to realistically expect respect, rather than accepting harrassment as the status quo

3. “Has anyone ever blamed a man for being drunk?”

— On the double standards of a culture that often blames the woman for “putting herself in a position” to be victimized.

4. “Funding is down to 2.9 million [dollars]. That’s thousands of women.” 

— On budget cuts to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which will reduce the hotline’s ability to provide resources to callers

5. “No one has ever doubted that I say what I mean.”  

— On his strong belief that cultural expectations of men help perpetuate cycles of domestic violence. Biden said oftentimes, “being a real man” is conflated with asserting dominance over women, which he said he believes is deeply harmful.

Voters got their first and only chance to see the two vice presidential candidates go head to head during Thursday night’s debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Rep. Paul Ryan.

The two candidates sought to shed light on the differences between the two presidential tickets during the 90-minute vice presidential debate that focused on both domestic and foreign policy.

With the exception of a brief comment by Biden on the tuition tax credit, higher education was not discussed during the debate.

The two candidates answered questions on topics ranging from the economy and women’s health to Iraq and Afghanistan from ABC News Correspondent Martha Raddatz. On the economy, Biden criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s recently disclosed comment, in which he described 47 percent of Americans as “dependent upon government.”

“These people are my mom and dad, the people I grew up with, my neighbors,” Biden said. “They pay more effective tax than Governor Romney pays in his federal income tax. They are elderly people who, in fact, are living off of Social Security. They are veterans and people fighting in Afghanistan right now who are, quote, ‘not paying any tax.’”

Ryan responded with his own policy plans.

“We want everybody to succeed,” Ryan said. “We want to get people out of poverty, in the middle class, onto a life of self-sufficiency. We believe in opportunity and upward mobility. That’s what we’re going to push for in a Romney administration.”

The debate took a more aggressive tone than the first presidential debate. At one point, Biden called a statement Ryan made “a bunch of malarkey.”

On the topic of foreign policy, Ryan criticized Obama’s response to the recent attack on the American embassy in Libya.

“This Benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself, but unfortunately it’s indicative of a broader problem,” Ryan said. “And that is what we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.”

In turn, Biden offered his own criticism of Romney’s response.

“You know, usually when there’s a crisis, we pull together,” Biden said. “We pull together as a nation. But as I said, even before we knew what happened to the ambassador, the governor was holding a press conference. That’s not presidential leadership.”

The University Democrats hosted a debate watch party at Player’s while members of the College Republicans attended a watch party at Third Base Sports Bar hosted by Austin Young Republicans.

Speaking from the watch party, Jordan Nichols, executive vice president of College Republicans, said Paul Ryan won the debate in measuring on issues and policy stances.

“As far as substance, Vice President Biden offered pretty much the same thing we’ve heard for the last four years, and it’s pretty obvious where that’s gotten us,” Nichols said.

Sandra Ogenche, vice president of University Democrats, said the debate will serve to remind voters of why supporting the Obama-Biden ticket is so crucial.

“I think Joe Biden did a really good job of getting back to the reason for our support of the ticket,” Ogenche said. “He talked about issues that affect the middle class, that affect our veterans, that affect students, and I think that resonated with a lot of people.”

With early voting already underway in several states, the most recent national polls show a neck and neck race.The second presidential debate will be held Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. at Hofstra University.

Printed on Friday, October 12, 2012 as: VP candidates get aggressive

Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Exeter, N.H. earlier this month.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Vice President Joe Biden delivered a harsh attack Thursday on Mitt Romney’s foreign policy views, arguing that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is rooted in a Cold War mentality and is uninformed about the current challenges facing the U.S. abroad.

In a campaign speech delivered at New York University Law School, Biden laid out a robust defense of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy record while eviscerating Romney for lacking vision and for “distorting” Obama’s record in a way that has been counterproductive to U.S. interests.

“If you’re looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,” Biden said, saying Obama’s decisions on both foreign and domestic policy had made the U.S. safer.

Biden cast the former Massachusetts governor as an inexperienced foreign policy thinker who would delegate decisions to staff and advisers. He also hit Romney on his reputation for flip-flopping on issues.

“We know when the governor does venture a position it’s a safe bet that he previously took or will take an exactly opposite position,” Biden said, noting that Romney had originally supported setting a time frame for pulling U.S. troops from Afghanistan only to later criticize Obama’s plan to do so by the end of 2014.

Biden repeatedly used Romney’s own words against him, such as when Romney downplayed the significance of capturing Osama bin Laden during Romney’s 2008 presidential bid and, more recently, when Romney said Russia was the United States’ gravest geopolitical foe.

“As my brother would say, ‘Go figure,’” Biden said to laughs.

In response, Romney adviser John Lehman accused the president of a “gross abdication of leadership” that could have practical and political consequences.

“Why is the United States under Obama abdicating its leadership for keeping stability in the world?” asked Lehman, Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, during a conference call Romney’s campaign arranged with reporters before Biden spoke. “This is a serious crisis and perhaps could be the central issue in the campaign.”

Lehman continued: “The Obama administration in a very studied and intentional way is withdrawing from leading the free world and maintaining stability around the world — what Obama calls leading from behind. But the reality is it’s opening up huge new vulnerabilities.”

Obama has not described his foreign policy as “leading from behind.” Republicans used the phrase to chastise Obama for his handling of last year’s uprising in Libya.

Biden recited Obama’s foreign policy achievements, noting that he ordered the attack that killed bin Laden and fulfilled a campaign promise to end the Iraq war. Biden said Obama repaired alliances with other nations, particularly with geopolitical partners in Europe and Asia.

He also pushed back particularly hard on Romney’s attacks on the Obama administration’s handling of Iran and Israel, two areas where Republicans have been sharply critical of the president.

On Iran, Biden said Romney’s call for crippling sanctions and a U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon simply mirrored Obama’s approach.

“The only step we could take that we aren’t already taking is to launch a war against Iran. If that’s what Gov. Romney means by a ‘very different policy,’ he should tell the American people,” Biden said.
On Israel, Biden said Obama has stood firm in support of the Jewish state — often alone and facing criticism from other allies. He noted that Romney had accused Obama of “throwing Israel under the bus.”

“The governor is falling back on one of his party’s favorite tricks of late — distort and mischaracterize your opponent’s position. Keep repeating the distortions and mischaracterizations over and over again,” Biden said.

Biden said Obama had adhered to President Teddy Roosevelt’s admonition that, on foreign policy, a president should speak softly and carry a big stick.

“I promise you, the president has a big stick,” Biden said.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — President Barack Obama’s administration launched a multi-pronged assault on Mitt Romney’s values and foreign policy credentials Sunday, while a fresh set of prominent Republicans rallied behind the GOP front-runner as the odds-on nominee, further signs the general election is overtaking the primary season.

A defiant Rick Santorum outlined plans to leave Wisconsin the day before the state’s contest Tuesday, an indication that the conservative favorite may be in retreat, his chances to stop Romney rapidly dwindling.

“I think the chances are overwhelming that (Romney) will be our nominee,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” ‘’It seems to me we’re in the final phases of wrapping up this nomination. And most of the members of the Senate Republican conference are either supporting him, or they have the view that I do, that it’s time to turn our attention to the fall campaign and begin to make the case against the president of the United States.”

Both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden went after Romney Sunday, underscoring the belief inside Obama’s Chicago re-election headquarters that Romney will — sooner than later — secure the right to face Obama this fall. Their involvement comes as both sides sharpen their general election strategy, perhaps weeks before the GOP contest formally comes to an end.

“I think Gov. Romney’s a little out of touch,” Biden told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in an interview broadcast Sunday. “I can’t remember a presidential candidate in the recent past who seems not to understand, by what he says, what ordinary middle-class people are thinking about and are concerned about.”

The line of attack is likely to play prominently in the Obama campaign’s general election narrative. While Obama is a millionaire, Romney would be among the nation’s wealthiest presidents ever elected. And he’s opened himself to criticism through a series of missteps.

Romney casually bet a rival $10,000 during a presidential debate, noted that his wife drives a “couple of Cadillacs,” and lists owners of professional sports teams among his friends. His personal tax records show investments in the Cayman Islands and a Swiss bank account.

Obama’s team on Sunday also seized on Romney’s foreign policy inexperience.

Biden said Obama was “stating the obvious” when he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more latitude on missile defense after the November general election. The two presidents did not realize the exchange, during a meeting in Seoul, South Korea, last weekend, was being picked up by a microphone.

Romney called it “alarming” and part of a pattern of “breathtaking weakness” with America’s foes. He asked what else Obama would be flexible on if he were to win a second term.

“Speaking of flexible, Gov. Romney’s a pretty flexible guy on his positions,” Biden said. Romney’s GOP opponents have accused the former Massachusetts governor of “flip-flopping” on issues such as health care and abortion.

Clinton seized on Romney’s comment that Russia is America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe,” calling the statement “dated” and suggesting there were more pressing matters of concern in global affairs.

“I think it’s somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don’t agree,” Clinton told CNN Sunday.

“He just seems to be uninformed or stuck in a Cold War mentality,” Biden added. “It exposes how little the governor knows about foreign policy.”

But the administration’s comments may have been overshadowed Sunday by Romney’s ballooning Republican support.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., spent the weekend at Romney’s side campaigning across Wisconsin, one of three states to host Republican primaries Tuesday. First-term Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., followed Ryan’s lead Sunday morning.

“I’m coming out urging the voters of Wisconsin: ‘Let’s lead. Let’s show that this is the time to bring this process to an end so we can focus our attention on retiring President Obama,’” Johnson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He later appeared at a pancake brunch with Romney and offered a message to “every conservative”: “I’ve spoken with Mitt, I totally believe he is committed to saving America.”

The senator joins a growing chorus of prominent Republicans calling for the party to coalesce behind Romney’s candidacy. Romney also scored former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his father, President George H.W. Bush, in recent days.

Ryan’s endorsement was particularly painful for Santorum, who had been aggressively praising the congressman — a fiscal conservative hero in Wisconsin and across the country — for much of the past week. That praise ended Saturday, when Santorum referred to Ryan as “some other Wisconsinite.”

Santorum’s senior staff outlined an increasingly unlikely path to victory that depends upon hypothetical success more than a month away.

“May is going to be a good month for us,” Santorum campaign manager Mike Biundo said. “The race goes on.”

Biundo confirmed that Santorum is aggressively working the phones to sway delegates in states like Washington, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri that have already voted. But he’s having mixed success.

“We have some (delegates) that have committed. I think most people seem to right now still be kind of waiting it out. There seems to be a lot of that that’s going on,” Biundo said.

Santorum was publicly defiant Sunday.

“Look, this race isn’t even at halftime yet,” he told “Fox News Sunday.” He said Romney “hasn’t been able to close the deal with conservatives, much less anybody else in this party. And that’s not going to be an effective tool for us to win this election.”

But with losses piling up for in other industrial states like Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, Santorum acknowledged the results in Wisconsin Tuesday will send a “strong signal” about the direction of the Republican contest.

And he appears to in retreat.

Having devoted more than a week to campaigning across Wisconsin, Santorum is scheduled to return to his home state, Pennsylvania, the day before the Wisconsin contest. Pennsylvania’s primary is more than three weeks away.

Biundo noted that Santorum moved out of Louisiana — where he won — before that state’s election day. But Santorum’s team has demonstrated far less confidence in recent days about Wisconsin than Romney, who has predicted victory here.

Trying to be upbeat, Santorum dismissed Romney’s growing support as “panic” in the Republican establishment and said seeing “everybody sort of coming out of the woodwork to say the things they’re saying today makes me feel like we’re actually doing pretty well here in Wisconsin.”

Meanwhile, Romney hopes to score a knockout blow in Pennsylvania, which hosts its primary April 24. He already has an office in Harrisburg and four paid staffers in the state, and plans to shift additional resources there after Tuesday.

With about half of the GOP nominating contests complete, Romney has won 54 percent of the delegates at stake, putting him on track to reach the threshold 1,144 national convention delegates in June. Santorum, who has won 27 percent of the delegates at stake, would need to win 74 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — President Barack Obama’s administration launched a multi-pronged assault on Mitt Romney’s values and foreign policy credentials Sunday, while a fresh set of prominent Republicans rallied behind the GOP front-runner as the odds-on nominee, further signs the general election is overtaking the primary season.

A defiant Rick Santorum outlined plans to leave Wisconsin the day before the state’s contest Tuesday, an indication that the conservative favorite may be in retreat, his chances to stop Romney rapidly dwindling.

“I think the chances are overwhelming that (Romney) will be our nominee,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” ‘’It seems to me we’re in the final phases of wrapping up this nomination. And most of the members of the Senate Republican conference are either supporting him, or they have the view that I do, that it’s time to turn our attention to the fall campaign and begin to make the case against the president of the United States.”

Both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden went after Romney Sunday, underscoring the belief inside Obama’s Chicago re-election headquarters that Romney will — sooner than later — secure the right to face Obama this fall. Their involvement comes as both sides sharpen their general election strategy, perhaps weeks before the GOP contest formally comes to an end.

“I think Gov. Romney’s a little out of touch,” Biden told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in an interview broadcast Sunday. “I can’t remember a presidential candidate in the recent past who seems not to understand, by what he says, what ordinary middle-class people are thinking about and are concerned about.”

The line of attack is likely to play prominently in the Obama campaign’s general election narrative. While Obama is a millionaire, Romney would be among the nation’s wealthiest presidents ever elected. And he’s opened himself to criticism through a series of missteps.

Romney casually bet a rival $10,000 during a presidential debate, noted that his wife drives a “couple of Cadillacs,” and lists owners of professional sports teams among his friends. His personal tax records show investments in the Cayman Islands and a Swiss bank account.

Obama’s team on Sunday also seized on Romney’s foreign policy inexperience.

Biden said Obama was “stating the obvious” when he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more latitude on missile defense after the November general election. The two presidents did not realize the exchange, during a meeting in Seoul, South Korea, last weekend, was being picked up by a microphone.

Romney called it “alarming” and part of a pattern of “breathtaking weakness” with America’s foes. He asked what else Obama would be flexible on if he were to win a second term.

“Speaking of flexible, Gov. Romney’s a pretty flexible guy on his positions,” Biden said. Romney’s GOP opponents have accused the former Massachusetts governor of “flip-flopping” on issues such as health care and abortion.

Clinton seized on Romney’s comment that Russia is America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe,” calling the statement “dated” and suggesting there were more pressing matters of concern in global affairs.

“I think it’s somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don’t agree,” Clinton told CNN Sunday.

“He just seems to be uninformed or stuck in a Cold War mentality,” Biden added. “It exposes how little the governor knows about foreign policy.”

But the administration’s comments may have been overshadowed Sunday by Romney’s ballooning Republican support.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., spent the weekend at Romney’s side campaigning across Wisconsin, one of three states to host Republican primaries Tuesday. First-term Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., followed Ryan’s lead Sunday morning.

“I’m coming out urging the voters of Wisconsin: ‘Let’s lead. Let’s show that this is the time to bring this process to an end so we can focus our attention on retiring President Obama,’” Johnson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He later appeared at a pancake brunch with Romney and offered a message to “every conservative”: “I’ve spoken with Mitt, I totally believe he is committed to saving America.”

The senator joins a growing chorus of prominent Republicans calling for the party to coalesce behind Romney’s candidacy. Romney also scored former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his father, President George H.W. Bush, in recent days.

Ryan’s endorsement was particularly painful for Santorum, who had been aggressively praising the congressman — a fiscal conservative hero in Wisconsin and across the country — for much of the past week. That praise ended Saturday, when Santorum referred to Ryan as “some other Wisconsinite.”

Santorum’s senior staff outlined an increasingly unlikely path to victory that depends upon hypothetical success more than a month away.

“May is going to be a good month for us,” Santorum campaign manager Mike Biundo said. “The race goes on.”

Biundo confirmed that Santorum is aggressively working the phones to sway delegates in states like Washington, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri that have already voted. But he’s having mixed success.

“We have some (delegates) that have committed. I think most people seem to right now still be kind of waiting it out. There seems to be a lot of that that’s going on,” Biundo said.

Santorum was publicly defiant Sunday.

“Look, this race isn’t even at halftime yet,” he told “Fox News Sunday.” He said Romney “hasn’t been able to close the deal with conservatives, much less anybody else in this party. And that’s not going to be an effective tool for us to win this election.”

But with losses piling up for in other industrial states like Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, Santorum acknowledged the results in Wisconsin Tuesday will send a “strong signal” about the direction of the Republican contest.

And he appears to in retreat.

Having devoted more than a week to campaigning across Wisconsin, Santorum is scheduled to return to his home state, Pennsylvania, the day before the Wisconsin contest. Pennsylvania’s primary is more than three weeks away.

Biundo noted that Santorum moved out of Louisiana — where he won — before that state’s election day. But Santorum’s team has demonstrated far less confidence in recent days about Wisconsin than Romney, who has predicted victory here.

Trying to be upbeat, Santorum dismissed Romney’s growing support as “panic” in the Republican establishment and said seeing “everybody sort of coming out of the woodwork to say the things they’re saying today makes me feel like we’re actually doing pretty well here in Wisconsin.”

Meanwhile, Romney hopes to score a knockout blow in Pennsylvania, which hosts its primary April 24. He already has an office in Harrisburg and four paid staffers in the state, and plans to shift additional resources there after Tuesday.

With about half of the GOP nominating contests complete, Romney has won 54 percent of the delegates at stake, putting him on track to reach the threshold 1,144 national convention delegates in June. Santorum, who has won 27 percent of the delegates at stake, would need to win 74 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination.

WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden says the Republican Party is strong enough to beat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.

During an appearance Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum, Biden said a significant majority of the American people don’t believe the country is moving in the right direction. And he says that is never a good place to be going into re-election, regardless of whether it is the current administration’s fault or not.

Compiled from Associated Press reports

The Obama administration rolled out an new program Tuesday that it hopes will help the United States boast the best college graduation rate in the world by 2020. During a summit in Washington, D.C., Vice President Joe Biden introduced a “College Completion Tool Kit,” a program that will offer governors ideas on how to enhance college graduation rates through strategies that are “low-cost” or “no-cost” to the state. “Right now, we’ve got an education system that works like a funnel when we need it to work like a pipeline,” Biden said in a press release. “We have to make the same commitment to getting folks across the graduation stage that we did to getting them into the registrar’s office. The dreams and skills of our college graduates will pave the way to a bright economic future for our nation.” The plan has seven key strategies including aligning high school standards with college entrance and placement standards, making it easier for students to transfer and targeting adults with some college completion but no degree. In order for the U.S. to increase the number of college graduates by the goal of 50 percent, the Department of Education claims each state will need to have a 60 percent completion rate by 2020. Currently, about 42 percent of U.S. citizens ages 25-34 have college degrees, according to information at the summit. The state of Texas falls below this target percentage, with an approximately 45.8-percent completion rate. The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research also released a study which ranked UT’s 78 percent as the 11th-highest among U.S. state universities. Ranked first was the University of Virginia at 93 percent, and second was University of California, Los Angeles at 90 percent. Thomas Palaima, a classics professor, said the problem with the country’s graduation rate is the structure of higher education itself, and that unless the core structure is fixed, the Obama and Biden remedies will not ultimately fix this problem. “It’s a good goal to have the highest graduation rate in the world, but unless you address the underlying structural problems, this is not going to improve life very much for the people who are going to be literally tricked by this system,” Palaima said. America once led the world in the number of college graduates it produces, but the country has fallen to ninth, said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who delivered opening remarks at the Summit on Monday evening. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Korea currently holds the No. 1 college graduation rate, with 58 percent of its population finishing college. “While our educational advancement stalled, other countries have passed us by. We need to educate our way to a better economy, and governors must help lead the way,” Duncan said. To meet the 2020 goal of regaining the No. 1 spot, the U.S. will have to turn out at least 8 million additional graduates by the end of the decade.