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. winnie the pooh

    Pushing all students to achieve the exact same educational goals is a silly and catastrophic idea. I am a professor. The greater number of weak students we admit to our programs the more we have to water down the material, which is terrible for the good students. For the same reason the "no child left behind" is a catastrophic idea. I believe we need to improve on our schools for all, but we should not spend the money on all students evenly just because a slogan says so. Talented students should get far more opportunities then they get now, and we should replace the "no child left behind" to an "equal opportunity for talented children" program. Sorry for being a liberal and saying this, but I have to say this, because this is the truth.

    January 8, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  2. Are We Even Paying Attention

    So what about "CAREER and college ready" says, or even implies that the president wants every kid to go to college? Have we reached the point in partisan tomfoolery that we have to disagree with someone saying they want kids to be prepared to go to college should they choose; and/or be prepared to embark upon a career (like the ones Santorum actually references)? Ridiculous.

    January 8, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  3. Rusty

    Says the guy who has the IQ of a POTATO! -

    January 8, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  4. jerry from Dallas

    Auto Mechanic is Technical career which requires college education or at the least 2 years training. Modern cars are computerized and technical knowledge of Auto Engineering is important for the advancement of the Auto industry. In every sector of the modern World, Education is the key. This ex senator is living in the yester World. We should encourage all Americans to have college education......minimum.

    January 8, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  5. OrangeW3dge

    calling the kettle black is so "cute" coming from a guy that imposes his religion on others

    January 8, 2012 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  6. Steve Jennings

    Doesn't sound like Mr. Santorum has America's best interests at heart.

    January 8, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  7. nunya

    What BS. Obama never said everyone *had* to go to college. What he said was that high school should have them prepared to go to college (in the event that they want to go). The more likely source of the criticism is that Santorum doesn't want homeschooling to be subjected to anything approaching a set of rigorous criteria for what the students should learn. His (as well as anyone else's) homeschooling should be subject to such rigorous criteria so that they don't play the system and avoid teaching them what they really need to know. (Yes, I know several homeschoolers personally and they do exactly that... 'Our precious Johnny is too special to have his mind forced to think about things he does not like, such as math, so we will teach him things like film study, wilderness lore, and advanced basketweaving instead.')

    January 8, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  8. Ben Thare

    And the presidential primary carnage continues.

    January 8, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  9. LeeAT

    Obama wants every kid to go to college and that is snobbery? Santorum wants to control our lives and that's okay. WOW

    January 8, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  10. Realtor for Obama

    Rick needs to go back to college. I believe the President is saying that all who want to college will be able to go, not every child has to go to college, although there is nothing wrong with being an educated mechanic or an educated hair stylist, etc. The President is correct in wanting to have our kids educated, especially in science and math so that we can compete globally. I attended the graduation at GA Tech in December 2011, and the majority of students who were being awarded advanced degrees (masters and PhD's) were Asian. Knowledge is Power. I'm sorry, I am talking to a Republican who is not the sharpest tool in the shd.

    January 8, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  11. Ciera

    What?! How on earth can you argue against higher educational standards? Especially in a time where Americans are behind in education!

    January 8, 2012 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  12. nopuppet

    I hope Santorum enjoyed his near win in Iowa, because from here on he will plummet because of dumb statements like this.

    January 8, 2012 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  13. Marry

    To be criticized for encouraging young people to get a good education by such a bible thumper shows how very little they have to criticize the President on and the economy is picking up.

    But still, it does show what the GOP/TP has in store for YOU! In other words: The GOP/TP is accepting the lack of fine schools in some areas, and an affordable college education for your children. Now they just have to convince YOU that YOUR children do not need “this education stuff”.

    January 8, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  14. Jason

    So we are all about the government telling folks what they have to do in the bedroom but heaven forbid the government from encouraging people to go to college and better themselves. That's rich.

    January 8, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  15. Jay

    typical mixture of lube and fecal matter one can expect from this guy. formal education = science, and science teaches you that earth is billions and not thousands of years old, and that we're a product of evolution, and therefore science is evil, and therefore formal education is evil.
    you don't need education to make a living, but it helps. you wanna have the US as the most (or near most) developed country in the world, as opposed to allow us to get caught and passed by others? then we need more education, not a Christian version of Sharia law.

    January 8, 2012 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  16. jd

    I think his mechanic son is going to be surprised that his homeschooling won't get him a job sweeping floors at an auto shop. Auto mechanics go through more school in a lifetime than most professionals in a suit.

    January 8, 2012 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  17. TK

    The nerve of snatorum running for president because he thinks he knows what is best for us that man is so full of hubris and that stuff that is linked to his name when you google santorum

    January 8, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  18. Greg McCalley

    I am stunned that Rick Santorum would say and act outraged at President Obama, whom Santorum think was egotistical, for apparently saying "he wishes all kids could go to college." Obama clearly means that it would be any kids that would want to go to college could be able to go. If that is a problem for you Rick, you will need to find a much better bone to pick. Don't insult the president and the people's intelligence with outrage that appears so completely false.

    January 8, 2012 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  19. Will

    "President Obama - keep that fancy yankee book lernin' to yourself! We don'ts want it down here, y'hear?"

    January 8, 2012 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  20. david Rutledge

    Who is so ignorant in this country as to take this fool for anything but a bigot – and an ignorant, pompous bigot at that.

    January 8, 2012 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  21. Vynn, Milton WA

    Rick....it's true: not everyone wants to go to college. But the reason shouldn't be because it's too expensive or too out of reach. Making the "opportunity" for college more accessable is not hubris, not snobbery. It is essentually doing for ALL of our kids what many countries in the West already do for theirs that we don't. In fact, it's snobbery to think that the opportunity should not be there for all for any reason.

    January 8, 2012 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  22. mike from iowa

    Wait, is this for real? Santorum criticizes Obama for trying to enable ans inspire every U.S. child to achieve a College Education? The return on investment would be tremendous, our nation would prosper. Santorum and his extremist positions on religion-over-liberties would do well to heed Thomas Jefferson, who said: "Priests...dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live. "
    -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Correa de Serra, April 11, 1820

    January 8, 2012 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  23. adam

    You tell 'em, Rick! Opportunity is too often wasted on those poor folks in this country...

    January 8, 2012 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  24. adam

    Or, phrased another way, "The world needs ditch diggers too." Tell 'em, Judge Smails!

    January 8, 2012 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  25. Google him

    Take it from a Pennsylvanian ... this guy's a tool.

    January 8, 2012 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
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