U.S. President Barack Obama announces plan to make education ''free'' in the United States, but says ''this isn't a blank check, this isn't a free lunch,'' and that students would have to keep their grades up. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President Barack Obama promoted a proposal to offer two years of free community college tuition to students on Friday but the plan and its $60 billion price tag over 10 years immediately faced skepticism from Republican lawmakers. Obama floated the education idea on the third and final day of a tour to promote agenda items being prepared for his Jan. 20 State of the Union address, a speech that will be his first to the U.S. Congress since Republicans won the Senate in November elections. Obama has maintained a sunny mood throughout the tour, promoting the prospect of bipartisan harmony and declining to attack Republicans, in what amounts to an early attempt to try find political harmony in Washington. Obama announced on Thursday that he would like to make two years of college free in a social media post that went viral. But White House officials had not disclosed the projected costs of the plan until Friday.