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. The Elephant In The Room

    Leave it to the Obama haters to attempt to turn a President who wants to advance a higher proportion of post-secondary school educated students into a BAD THING.

    China is kicking our ass because the average student there can program a computer . . . . even if they are an auto mechanic.

    You can`t complain about jobs moving to China & India on 1 hand and then turn around complain about a President who is pro-education.

    January 7, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Rick in AZ

    If every child goes to college who then would be the wages slaves of big business?

    January 7, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Mike2012

    Whats wrong with all american kid educated. Santorum you not going anywhere, Pr. Obama for 2012.

    January 7, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Every child in America should go to college." Simple every parents wish.

    Republicans never get this

    January 7, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. achille

    Santorum is right ... Americans Kids should not go to college because Republicans need more and more less high- educated people they will keep in hard backbreaking jobs while they help their fellow 1% rip the country's wealth.
    God job Rick !
    Bachmann just melted down...

    January 7, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Michael

    This falls pretty much in line with the Republican stance: The voting population should be uneducated and easily manipulated. The dumber the population, the better chance they will either vote republican or not vote at all. Way to go Santorum for helping to keep America dumb!

    January 7, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. Sandy

    Obama didn't say that every kid MUST go to college. He's saying everyone should have the opportunity to go if they want to. There go the Republicans again, telling lies!

    January 7, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. Sandy

    And this "snobbery" is just another word for "uppity".

    January 7, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. vivian

    Sanitarium better think before he opens that mouth and inserts both feet again. What an idiot.

    January 7, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Wow. First Santorum lies about what President Obama thinks and believes. Then Mr. Frothy doubles down on his stupidity by claiming it's "snobbery" to want our country to have more college graduates. I guess Mr. Frothy thinks "American exceptionalism" is best served by increasing American ignorance. His neocon deathcult has certainly got that market cornered!

    January 7, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. jtred

    Is this man seriously trying to turn a wish for children to get a college education into a negative thing? That is spin at its best.

    January 7, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. once upon a horse

    so now going to college makes you a SNOB? This explains why the far right is attracted to the less than bright like Santorum, Perry, Palin, and Bachmann. I remember when getting a college degree was the way to get a good job. Well no wonder the US now lags in education with thoughts like this.

    January 7, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. penguin

    Further evidence that the Republican Party is the party of "ignorance". Of course only non-Republicans know what Dicken's said about ignorance in "A Christmas Carol."

    January 7, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. sqeptiq

    I guess Ricky thinks "career-ready" means going to college, which is his bias, not Obama's. If that kid is going to be a successful auto mechanic, he better be career ready.

    January 7, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. nondollars

    Mr. Santorum, you obviously have no idea what it takes to live in the real world that the rest of us humans live in, because for your son or daughter to be an auto mechanic, humble and lowly the job it may be, and however well paying (which it really isn't all that great), you have to invest years of schooling and college in order to be a successful automotive technician. Please give us our due and call us technicians, not mechanics, because we paid for that right through our schooling, our pocketbooks, and our blood, sweat and tears. Do you, sir, have a political science degree, or did you just get into this by being a dumba** loudmouth. To show how disconnected from the average American human being you are, I bet you or your people won't respond to this. Good day, sir, from a nameless, faceless elitist snob automotive technician.

    January 7, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. diridi

    This idiot wants to Bomb Iran, shame on him. I think, first we need to draft this idiot to Iran war....how about that. Then, his sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters, etc....How about that.....

    January 7, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. OneTexan

    What President Obama means is that every child should be given the opportunity to go to college, nimcompoop. Whether they go or not is their decision once they're done with highschool, but the obvious you fail to grasp is the O word. And yes, he is BLACK. Surprise you didn't use that word in this again, another one of your moments of being tongue-tied....GAG.

    January 7, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. bravado in boston

    "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" but yet this guy wants to tell women how to run their lives, what to do with their interior body parts, how to define marriage at the Federal Lever, etcetera.

    hypocrasy at the highest possible level.....more people should call him out on this. (His poor kids..missing out on the social side of public education...those poor kids are doomed to fail. How many times can you pick out the home schooled kid in the long list of losers?)

    January 7, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. PaulNYC

    This coming from a person who can't mind his own business when it comes to people's private lives.

    January 7, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Norps

    No worse that Rick Santorum's arrogance to assume the Christian teachings are best, and should be imposed on everyone. Pot meet kettle. Personally, If I had to chose one, I'd rather chose the one that wants to educate people rather than the guy that expects people to blindly follow his faith. I don;t think Obama is misguided in making a GOAL of everyone who WANTS to go to college have the OPPORTUNITY. Santorum would rather have people dumb, poor and reliant on his god than educated, informed and reliant on themselves.

    January 7, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. James

    I actually agree with him on this. Our trade schools and vocational schools have suffered over the last few decades. Meanwhile college tuitions have soared. Unfortunately, too many people are going to college and graduating with degrees, than getting jobs that don't require a degree or really anything they learned in college. This was all great 30 years ago when you could work a part-time job and pay for college. Now, when people are either going into debt or dipping into retirement savings to pay for college, and getting no value in return other than perhaps a signaling function, that's a massive wealth transfer from the middle-class to the college administrators and professors.

    We need a serious retooling of our education system. We need more funds for low-cost alternatives like community college and trade and vocational schools. We need federally backed loan funds to be linked to cost controls. If universities want to charge 40K per year for a liberal arts degree they need to either find people willing to pay that without loans and go without federally backed money.

    January 7, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Jon

    Don't know if you've noticed, Mr. Santorum, but out here in the real world? A college education isn't an advantage anymore. It's a *necessity.* It's the default. People expect you to have it. If you don't, you have little to no chance of finding any kind of work, let alone something more than food service.

    January 7, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Harry From Pa

    So you rather have people that can't think for themselves, people who are less educated who wont ask questions? I think these Candidates are snoobs because you got a President in office who is trying to make it a fair game for everybody but they rather them remain the 1% instead of being unified and together. Candidates are going to say whatever to get votes but remember when you point a finger, you got 3 pointing back at you.

    January 7, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. JC17

    Santorum is a whiney little b!tch. A snivelling wimp who tries to brown nose whoever he can to fit in(i.e. AIPAC). Ok Rick we shouldn't strive to be a better, smarter evolving people, should we? We as a people should be content to be stagnant while the rest of the world catches and passes us up. You know, so the 10 people that finance your campaign can continue to sit on their wealth.

    January 7, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. GIl

    Just like a staunch Republican to want to limit the possibility of education. If you want to be an auto-mechanic, you should be given every opportunity to do so and every chance to succeed at it. The same applies for those who wish to go to college. Now why would a Republican not want educated masses? Perhaps is to avoid having to answer for their skewed ideals favoring the ivory elite.

    January 7, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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