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. dmack

    Rick is missing the point. It's not a mandatory thing, it's about helping those that choose that particular path. I'm a father of five and also have 4 siblings myself, none of my siblings have a colege education and we're all doing fine, but for those that choose this path, the tuition, time committment and sacrifice will never be abated. I applaud the president or at least stting a goal.

    January 7, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. Better Off

    Too many college graduates would equate to fewer followers for the evangelical set.

    January 7, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Get your head out of the 19th century, Rick. If we want to remain a leading center of technology and innovation, we need a college-educated workforce. Times change – better get used to it.

    January 7, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  4. Liz the First

    Yeah, how dare our president want an edicated population??? Santorum is worried that if everyone gets too educated, there won't be anyone stupid enough to vote republican any more. do we need any more proof that the rethugs are anti-education? i don't think college is for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with honest work that doesn't require a college education. but in the greatest country in the world, folks who are qualified and have the desire for highetr education should be able to go.

    January 7, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  5. Ray

    What an idiot this Santorum
    Education is key to every aspect of life. Even if a child want to become a mechanic, he/she still need a great amount of education. How can you become a mechanic if you don't understand the process?

    January 7, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. T. Craion

    Wow! I had to watch the video just to make sure something was not taken out of context, but I still can't believe Mr. Santorium said something that idiotic! Really, he is against the President pushing for higher education for our youth? This man has a bachelors from Penn State and a law degree, it's this level of hypocrisy that turns people off to politics and politicians in general (i.e. see congress' approval numbers). If telling young people pursuing a higher education = snobbery then call me a snob as well!!!

    -Dr. Craion

    January 7, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. timz

    Rich Republicans think only their kids should go to college. Poor Republicans just want to make rich Republicans richer.

    January 7, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  8. LEE

    I guess Santorum would have been opposed to the GI Bill that made college available to the returning service men and fueled the economic growth of the 1950s. NO one is for forcing people to go to college, but they should be ready to make the decision.

    January 7, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  9. Jay

    I'm sorry that Santorum is outraged. I am outraged, too, and it makes me unhappy. My outrage stems from Santorum's asinine response to Obama's "career and college ready" remark, which obviously did not mean that "every child in America should go to college." Sorry, Santorum, but "ready" does not mean "must go." A college-ready high school graduate is one who has been well enough educated to enter college if desired. Obama clearly didn't mean that every auto mechanic, truck driver and waitress in America must have a degree.

    January 7, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. JulesT

    This guy is a complete ignorant nut. Most mechanics do go to a technical college or trade school. If this guy had his way, the middle class and those in a lower income branch would be the only ones serving our country and flipping his burgers. What a radical snob he is!

    January 7, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. Rational

    Are you fu^%#ing serious Santorum? You of all people talking about "a president that thinks he knows how people should run their lives". You want to evoke Christian Sharia on all of us. I don't believe in your god but yet you know what's best for me. I think gay dudes should be able to marry other gay dudes...but you seem to know what's best for them too. You are a hypocritical sham. A joke of a candidate and a scary prospect.

    January 7, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  12. Conrack

    "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."

    Every day the GOP candidates seem to push the limit of sanity with their comments. This is the type of headline I would expect to see in the ONION, not coming from the lips of someone who is supposed to be a serious contender for the highest office in the land. The President things that every child should hve the benefit of a college education ( and therefore be better protected from the influence of demagougues and propogandists), he is not saying that every child will be forced to go to college. Ricky, what American parent would not want their child to got to college?

    January 7, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  13. ms

    Since when was giving every child an opportunity to get a college education snobbery. We are losing the best jobs in engineering, medicine, and technology to individuals from rapidly growing economies in the middle east, asia, and south america. Students come to this country on H1 B visas, get the best education, stay, and create good lives for themsevles.
    Everyone should have a shot at a great education – regardless if they choose to pursue or not.

    January 7, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. mdeagle91

    The ability of some to turn a positive into a negative is astounding.......smdh

    January 7, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  15. RickD

    Santorum – what an idiot!!

    January 7, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  16. HC21

    Oh no! Obama wants all US kids to be able to go to school if they choose to! He should be impeached for that! It will be especially bad if we have the more college graduates and more success in this country. The our pride in our country can be based on something rather than ideals. Go Santorum

    January 7, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. scott

    they get mad when you encourage their children to eat better too.....and they want to be president

    January 7, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  18. ellen

    This yahoo has apparently not been to Pittsburgh, where they want you to have a degree to work at McDonalds!!!

    January 7, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  19. Patrick Murphy

    Santorum conveniently ignores all of the data that indicates that an increasing number of the new jobs coming online in the next several years will require at least "some college" if not a college degree. He also doesn't seem to realize that being a mechanic today requireds education in computer technology and other skills learned at post-high school technical community colleges, which are also by definition "college." Santorum seems to prefer that we have as many high- school only people as possible for the minimum wage jobs that his fellow wannabe Perry has created in Texas.

    January 7, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. neko

    how ironic that he doesnt want government to tell him how to educate children, but he want to make illegal all those things that the bible say are wrong... so for him education is bad, but religion is good,

    January 7, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There are some people who won't be able to go to college because they are not suited. The problem is that people who want to try don't always have the ability (money). I would encourage people to constantly learn something new all the time. I think that is something that Santorum is confusing learning and getting educated for a profession.

    January 7, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. Tim

    Yea, we should keep American children away from college so they stay uninformed about evolution, global warming and how dumb Republican policies are.

    January 7, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  23. OwenJ

    Rick Santorum, you are an idiot. Why is it offensive to you that a President should have a goal to have the highest rate of college graduates in the world? From my point of view that is a great goal, and one that any President should have for the citizens of this country.

    January 7, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  24. Eric

    Santorium is scary. His views on the lack of separation btw state and church are potentially disastrous particularly for those not Christian. Ironically the GOP, who advocates for small GOVT, supports positions that invade the lives of so many.

    January 7, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  25. Boo

    "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.

    Hmmm, if Obama thinking every child should go to college is an agenda of hubris, then what is Santorum thinking they do not? The difference between your child having a lesser paying job and Santorum's (should one so decide,... eyeroll) is that Santorum's would also work that trust fund angle.

    Sorry dude, no sale!

    January 7, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
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