Santorum: Obama's education stance is 'snobbery'
January 7th, 2012
12:23 PM ET
3 years ago

Santorum: Obama's education stance is 'snobbery'

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) - Rick Santorum called President Barack Obama's education goals an agenda of "hubris" on Saturday, saying he is "outraged" that the president thinks "every child in America should go to college."

"The hubris of this president to think that he knows what's best for you [...] This is the kind of snobbery that we see from those that think they know how to run our lives," the former Pennsylvania senator said in a forum at St. Anselm's New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

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Obama has repeatedly said he wants the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Earlier this year, while announcing plans to reform "No Child Left Behind," Obama also said he intends for every student to graduate "career and college ready."

But Santorum, whose children's education includes home-schooling, argued that not everyone is suited for a college education.

"I have seven kids. Maybe they'll all go to college. But if one of my kids wants to go and be an auto mechanic, good for him, that's a good paying job, using your hands, using your mind," he said.

Santorum calls for the federal government to have a "very limited" role in education, advocating for "flexible and personalized approaches to education for each child to best maximize their potential."

"We are leaving so many children behind because they're not ready to go to college - they don't want to go to college, they don't need to go to college," Santorum said Saturday.

CNN's Ashley Killough and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire • Rick Santorum
soundoff (619 Responses)
  1. Adrienne

    "not everyone is suited for a college education." True, but everyone should be able to go to college if they want to because of cost and going to schools in poor parts of town which make getting through high school a lot harder. Most people would love the opportunity to go to college if they could. It is about opportunity. I think if all Americans had first class education up through highschool and could afford afford collage then tons more Americans would be higher educated. Santorum is like the 3 monkeys with hands over mouth, ears and eyes when it comes to this issue.

    January 7, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Eric Jacobson

    The only problem is, "flexible" solutions often create gaps that leave children unable to compete in an already-tight job market. Homeshcoolers, while they may advance faster, also run the risk of lacking knowledge in subjects (especially science) that are very important in real-world situations. Why do I say that? Quite a bit of homeschooling programs are faith-based, and we all know how the faithful are when it comes to science. Sorry, but prayer won't get you ahead in a career, unless you're Pat Robertson...

    January 7, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. jane

    You are kidding me right? What is wrong with getting an education? No not eveyone is suited to a 4 yr college but what about trade school. Most auto mechanics have to learn the trade. Get real.

    January 7, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Kevin Cantu

    So they're arguing about who should go to college and who shouldn't??? Really?

    January 7, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. M & M

    Good idea, lets save all that money and not send anyone to college.

    January 7, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. jmsbois

    So, Santorum believes that promoting better education for Americans is considered "outrageous", and that our president suffers from hubris for his views. You've got to be kidding. These clowns will attack anything Obama says or does. How does wanting a better educated population equate bad in any sane persons mind?

    January 7, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. KWDragon

    I cannot believe that even Santorum would twist Obama's views on education to this end. Of course every child should be career and college ready upon graduating high school. If they do not want to go to college, they-of course-would not have to do so, but they would have the choice because they would have the preparation. Santorum is just showing his inability to understand or work with any view that does not line up totally with his own.

    January 7, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Reggie from LA

    Tell me that these comments are Santorum's attempt at humor. Someone has to speak to the needs of the American people. He thinks the president lives in a vacuum? A nation tells him what we think and what we need–constantly. Santorum purports that Obama is just making this s*@# up? so he'll feel fatherly? "He has children Luntz head!". That's a lot of nerve. So if Santorum doesn't know what we need, why is he running for office. It will be a failed campaign by the way. Out of Iowa, out of steam. How's that book coming?

    January 7, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Two and the door for House Republicans!!!

    Rick, that is just a stupid argument you are making and it speaks to the mind set of many of your supporters!!! Dude that is just dumb, I mean really dumb!!!

    January 7, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Jack

    Santorum wants the gov't out of your life–but he wants the gov't to tell you who you can and cannot marry, what you can and cannot do in the bedroom with another consenting adult. He wants the gov't to tell you when to pray and where and which prayers to say. He wants the gov't to tell you which religion is the country's religion. Hypocrite. The mistake many liberals have is they ask him why he is against gay marriage, for instance. They need to ask him what proof he has that gay marriage has proven bad for the country, how gays in the military have destroyed the military, how gay parents have failed to create a loving environment for children. Where is the proof?

    January 7, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Ted van Tol

    What Obama means is that every child must have the change to go to college!
    Turning positive into negative is not going to help to create our childrens future.

    January 7, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. radioactive

    Prez Obama could find a cure for cancer and the tea party/repub whackos would still figure out a way to criticize him for it.

    January 7, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. alex

    guess he prefers people who are stupid and ignorant.

    January 7, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Reggie from LA

    College is the goal. It takes a lot of time to prep for that. You don't just spring that on yourself so you look at it as a goal. If when the time comes and you change your mind have at it. There ARE other pursuits aside from college. In many instances it may very well cost anyway (even jobs 'using your hands. Besides, even a lot of college graduate jobs require use of the hands. SHUT UP. You got nothing "Saint orum"

    January 7, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. Sid Prejean

    America, welcome to the Rick Santorum we fired six years ago.
    The nerve of those Democrats, to think that Americans should be well-educated, well-nourished, and well-cared for!

    January 7, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    SAY WHAT? Every person in this country should have the method, means and opportunity to go to college. If they don't, then it's their decision, but everyone should get as much education as they can whether it's at a college or a trade school or a technical school. For an idiot like Santorum to say that becoming educated is snobbery is more proof that the GOP wants a stupid population so they can say and do whatever they want and no one out here in the real world would be intelligent enough to tell them that they're idiots and doing wrong.

    January 7, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. Robert

    "The hubris of this president to think that he knows what's best for you [...] This is the kind of snobbery that we see from those that think they know how to run our lives,"

    Like, for example, preventing a woman from deciding to get an abortion...or preventing a gay couple from deciding to be married. Santorum would take away those choices because he thinks HE knows what's best for you. (Notice that Obama is not talking about FORCING people to go to college, as Santorum implies, but rather providing everyone with the OPPORTUNITY to go if they choose to. Santorum, on the other hand, would take away your right to choose what he doesn't agree with. Talk about hubris!)

    January 7, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Ian

    Yeah, how dare the President of the United States advocate for American children to get a higher education...lol.

    January 7, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. David in Denver

    "The hubris of this president to think that he knows what's best for you [...]" – Yet Santorum wants to poke his "nose" into every bedroom in the country? I think this is so funny! The Republicans aren't for "small government" or "personal liberty" – oh, that's what they'll call it – but they want to control you and your thoughts and direct you towards their vision of morality.

    January 7, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. Mark

    Well Rick, not everyone is suited for a college education.

    Also, not everyone is suited for a government position.

    Guess which one you fall under?

    January 7, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. Laura

    Even auto mechanics usually go to some type of college these days. Post secondary education doesn't have to be a 4 year university degree.

    January 7, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. John in Brooklyn

    Yes....to be a good Republican I should embrace the idea that getting a good education, learning new ideas and mastering new technologies that will help me to compete in the global labor market....not to mention helping the US compete....that's soooooo snobbish and foolish. You're right, Rick....let's NOT do what your grandfather the coal miner did for you....make sure the next generation gets every opportunity to do better than we did. Anti-Intellectual Republicans are con artists.

    January 7, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. Maryellen

    He outraged, doesn't take much to outrage him, what a nut! Rationally I think what the President means is that any child that wants to go to college has the opportunity to go.

    January 7, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. wootdude

    Wow, so it's a bad thing for the children of America to be educated?

    January 7, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. GOP Hate America

    no Santorum, your stupid christian fascism is snobbery.

    January 7, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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