Santorum: Obama's education stance is 'snobbery'
January 7th, 2012
12:23 PM ET
2 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. Elizabeth Dabalos

    Santorum, "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..." It is very nice that if one of Santorum's seven children chooses not to go to college Santorum recognized that this is ok. However, his child has a choice. President Obama wants us all of our children to have the choice. This comment brings to mind Marie Antoinette's response when told the French people had no bread. Either being or faining ignorance she said, "Let them eat cake."

    January 7, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Agnim

    Is Obama DEMANDING that every American go to college? lol

    Setting reasonable goals for young citizens, and helping to create the conditions to achieve said reasonable goals, are a sign of real leadership.

    Of course those who are mere power gluttons, and who are adept at appealing to base/racist instincts but who are clueless about successful leadership, the are to be avoided by the young and the ambitious.

    Silly santorum is merely doing what the racist demagogues do best - misrepresent valid statements in order to promote their devilish divisiveness.

    January 7, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Nicecatch

    Is this guys serious? Its bad for the president to want every kid to go to college? The republican party is a joke.

    January 7, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Tad Pole

    Wait. Santorum doesn't think he knows how to run my life? Isn't this the same guy that is SURE that his religious beliefs also apply to me?

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

    " This is the kind of snobbery that we see from those that think they know how to run our lives ". Pot, meet kettle. Santorum is not only a delusional twit, he's a hypocritical twit as well. Small government advocate, except when it comes to women's rights, and the bedroom of consenting adults. Talk about hubris.

    January 7, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Sixpack. Rick Santorum just said your kids probably shouldn't go to college. I guess he only wants college for the elites like himself. Never mind neither of his parents had a college education. The only problem is because of social promotion, many children in High School cannot perform where they need to be even for High School.
    Also, did you notice his dig about home schooling his kids? I would be willing to bet he isn't the one who stayed home and taught them. What does that tell you, Mom? That you shouldn't try to work and bring in the money you need so your kids can go to college? Sounds like it to me!

    January 7, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Dan Kavanaugh

    President Obama has NEVER said that "every child in America should go to college."

    Please research and report this.

    January 7, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. bobcat2u

    And Mr. Santorum why do you feel like all children shouldn't be given the opportunity to go to college if they so desire ?
    There are a lot of young people out here that would love to go to college, but can't afford it. For some individual there are are grants and social college funds. For others it's too bad, so sad.

    January 7, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. TonyK

    Rick Santorum is lying. Obama said every kid should have the opportunity to go to college–huge difference. Him saying this is immoral and a conscious lie. Shame on you Rick!

    January 7, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. 4F

    Sanitarium says Obummer is wrong for thinking all children should go to college. Sanitarium got it wrong. Obummer only wants rich kids to go to college. Poor kids should not even think about going to college. They should go directly into the military or should take back those jobs that illegal aliens confiscated.

    January 7, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. nimrod

    I think being college-ready doesn't equate to everyone going to college. Having the option to attend is great-allows the person to make a decision to go or not. Not everyone is going to college out of high school. Some wait a few years, and some decide not to attend traditional colleges. Online universities are providing an option for those working or are at a remote location.

    January 7, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Texas Bob

    He probably like Newt wants all the kids in the coal mines or on a production like for food stamps. Forget school!

    January 7, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. ithink122

    "...saying he is "outraged" that the president thinks "every child in America should go to college."

    "...Obama also said he intends for every student to graduate "career and college ready."

    "Being college ready" is to "going to college" as "preparing for war" is to "going to war". Just because you are prepared to go to war doesn't mean you have to go to war. Just because you are prepared to go to college does not mean you need to go to college. Making someone "college ready" simply gives them college as an option, nothing more. I find nothing wrong with giving everyone the preperation they need to attend even if they do not take advantage of it. How exactly would this make us worse off as a country?

    January 7, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. joshua

    Santorum is a complete and total idiot. What kind of jack @ss doesn't advocate college?

    January 7, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. Jane

    "those that think they can run our lives." Oh, you mean, like telling people who they can marry, and how often and when to have children? People like that? For shame, Mr. Santorum, for shame.

    January 7, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. Jim

    Hubris to think that every child should have the opportunity to go to college?

    Only snobs have education? That leaves you out Santorum.

    Another example of the tea party taking the country back to 1850.

    January 7, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. Liz

    So what he saying is that it's okay to be uneducated. Wow. The republican agenda unveiled for all to see. A$$. They won't post this, tho.

    January 7, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Donald in CA

    So now the right wing politicians are down playing a college education. Go tell the chinese that. If i'm going to be a mechanic, i would want to be a educated one.

    January 7, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. AgrippaMT

    Santorum is obviously insanely jealous of President Obama's superb education. He's positively pea green with envy. Clearly, he is unqualified to hold any public elective office, especially the Presidency.

    January 7, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. The Choobs

    How dare the President want a college-educated society! I bet he wants all children to have food to eat, a roof over their heads, and clean clothes to wear. What an evil socialist he is to expect America can do these mean and awful things to our children!

    January 7, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. Vivitar

    Wow, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black! I didn't hear Obama's statement fist hand, but Rick, aren't you the one telling us who we can and cannot mary.

    January 7, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. Garrick Akridge

    educated workforce = jobs

    January 7, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. nintex

    Santorum is so far off base with this one that he makes himself look more stupid than usual. He's outraged that President Obama would dare to set high standards for our youth? I'm outraged that the republicans have such a disregard for education in the first place. Grated not everyone is college material, but how about making it possible for those who DO want to go to college to have a good enough elementary and high school education to do so, and making it possible for them to afford to go to college if they want to? Snobbery indeed!

    January 7, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. Liz

    I truly doubt if one of little Ricky's kids wanted to be an auto mechanic 1) it would REALLY be okay and 2) even auto mechanics now have to go to some kind of trade school (college). So Ricky's full of it on that one.

    January 7, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Crob

    I'm glad the Republicans are opening there mouths. You have two racist, and one that even the republicans don't like. This makes it easy for Obama. I've never seen so many bigots speak out against one man and have the media banking their mess.

    January 7, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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