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He went on to say that the proposal was "a Ponzi scheme even by [Texas] Gov. [Rick] Perry's standards," riffing off his primary rival's remarks on Social Security.

Gingrich was speaking at an education forum in New York attended by a number of Republican candidates.

Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE, who is also running for the presidency, also criticized the plan at the forum, saying it created a "moral hazard."

"There is a morality in keeping our financial promises, and I don't think we should push that off onto the taxpayer," Bachmann said. "The individual needs to repay and be responsible for repaying their student loan debt."

The Minnesota congresswoman also echoed comments by Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge Lobbying world MORE (R-Ohio), who said Thursday he was concerned about the constitutionality of the administration's decision to change rules without congressional approval.

"I believe it is abuse of power from the executive to impose via an executive order a wholesale change in the student loan," Bachmann said.