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. Karl Warrington

    China and other economic power houses make darn sure that their kids go to college and the government picks up the tab. We in the US would rather spend all of our time demonizing government and falling behind the rest of world in just about every category.

    January 7, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Robert

    This from a guy who wants to tell us exactly how to run our families, what religion we should have and any number of other aspects of our personal lives. He wants the government to tell us not to use contraception, to have lots of kids, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. But he calls it hubris when a president wants to make college available to all? That in its self is hubris.

    January 7, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Frothy Mix

    "This is the kind of snobbery that we see from those that think they know how to run our lives." Is this guy serious? It's perfectly okay for him to try to impose his "christian values" on the nation, but not okay that President Obama wants kids to leave high school well prepared for a college education instead of just being able to pass a meaningless test? Get real!

    January 7, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. ladybear

    I believe the point the President is trying to make with regards to advanced education that attending college or not should be a matter of choice, and no child should be denied because of a less that adequate high school education. Being able to read and write well enough to complete a job application is important, and seems to be a vanishing skill, and enough math to be able to check one's bills and bank accounts; reading instructions and diagrams another skill necessary for many trades, and not possible without a good basic education.

    January 7, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. quinLee

    Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development places the United States 18th among the 36 industrialized nations.
    What’s a high school diploma worth today anyway–not much. No, everyone isn’t cut out for a 4-year college but Santorum is conveniently leaving out the fact that Obama’s plan also stresses the importance of community colleges. You know that place where HVAC, mechanics, chefs, early childhood professions, IT professionals, etc go to learn their skills.

    January 7, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. ben gauvreau

    "This is the kind of snobbery that we see from those that think they know how to run our lives"
    Do tell me, what is it about your yearning to overturn Rowe vs. Wade that does not contradict this statement, Rick? Who is your speech writer, and how could you misuse your words so easily? What makes you think that your religion is the best way to run the lives of all Americans? I would love a response, buddy. PS. you look like you swallowed an innertube.

    January 7, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Neil

    Don't fool yourselves, not only will all of Santorum's kids go to college, they'll probably go to Harvard like Bush. Maybe you should ask the Republicans why they feel the average person doesn't need a fair chance to get an affordable education. It's because they want a stratified society, with them on top. Don't think you're going to become a millionaire one day so hey lets not tax them. Under republican rule, you will be a subjugated serf.

    January 7, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Patricia S. Dumas

    And, Rick, you're telling us that abortion is your business, and us poor folks should "get off the cell phones" if we can't afford the prices in the supermarket. This guy is dangerous. That people vote for him and think he's right, makes me nauseous.

    January 7, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. John

    So it is more American, and certainly more Xtian – for kids to be taught they should work in coal mines for pennies a day, or else stay at home and pop out babies. Yes, sounds like Pennsylvania.

    January 7, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Randy B.

    Just because someone wants to be an auto mechanic doesn't mean that they won't need special training. Maybe college isn't the correct word for their type of education, but clearly with today's complicated automobiles, the more education a mechanic would have under his/her belt, the more likely they will get hired and maybe even end up with a better paying position. College/career training will be important for more and more positions as technology continues to impact every field of work.

    January 7, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Samuel Green

    The hypocrisy of arguing for limited intrusion of government in our lives and being fiscally conservative, while preaching conservative stance on abortion and against military downsizing, has turned my vote to the Democrats even though I dislike them. I invite my fellow republicans to do the same. Our platform should be more than just an anti-Obama movement.

    January 7, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Bill

    He's trying to appeal to the uneducated voter?

    Of course college is not for everyone but Obama's desire it for everyone to have the best education possible.
    All kids should aspire to go to college and then decide once the graduate high school. In other words, they should work hard and get the best grades possible and get the most out of their education. I struggled in High School and went out and worked after I graduated. I went back to school after I realized a good paying job was going to be hard to obtain on a High School education. I went to a technical school and I am fortunate to have good career in Information Technology. That said, not having at least a 4 year degree closes the door on a lot of opportunities.

    What he should be he should be complaining about is how expensive it is to go to college.

    January 7, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Vin Dicated

    Idiot. The GOP assault on education continues. Even if your kid, Santorum, becomes a mechanic, she still has to go to a school to do it. Of course the President wants every kid to have the opportunity to go to college. What's he supposed to say? He wants every child to be uneducated?

    January 7, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Nobody Important

    That's Santorum for you. Let's keep America's children ignorant and poor.

    January 7, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Stephen in VA

    "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.

    Once again he proves how out of touch he is. Unless you grew up with a mechanic as a dad, these days it takes an education to get a job as a mechanic. I know, the elitists of the world don't think of trade school as education, but it still requires class time, and it still costs money.

    January 7, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. BillInLA

    "Career and college-ready" means a good high school education, you nitwit.

    But the scary thing about you, Santorum, is on health insurance. Come down with a major disease, and it's your problem. I sincerely hope that you experience what it is like, as we did in my family, to have to cope with the financial consequences of a major illness.

    January 7, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Mhar Johannsen

    Of course Santorum is against that kind of thinking. If everyone were college educated who would vote for him?

    January 7, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. bcm

    Guess what? If his son wants to be an auto mechanic – he will need to obtain a post high school education. Our children are so far behind almost every other competing country in the world in the area of education. How can anyone be opposed to seeking a better education for our children?

    January 7, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Philojazz

    What an incredible small-minded hypocrite this Mr Santorum is. Somehow, to his mind, he can complain about "The hubris of this president to think that he knows what's best for you" and follow by saying "This is the kind of snobbery that we see from those that think they know how to run our lives..", while at the same time this is the same so-called "Saint Santorum" who thinks that HIS religion and HIS "moral code" and HIS god (with whom he thinks he is on speaking terms somehow) should rule OUR lives. I hope (not pray, but hope, and wish) that Mr Santorum fizzles out in New Hampshire (a state full of independent-minded, thinking voters), and we don't have to hear from him again. Note, I'm not wishing Mr Santorum any ill will, or misfortune, only that the voters wise up and send him on his hypocritical way.

    January 7, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. JacsinJax

    "Obama also said he intends for every student to graduate "career and college ready." So Santorum doesn't believe by having them graduate high school with the skill set to choose shouldn't be the goal? No, not everybody should go to college but in the 21st Century everyone needs post-secondary education–be it a carpenter, mechanic or computers. We need to graduate children with the abilities to move forward.

    January 7, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. Left

    So he believes we need an uneducated class of people to serve the "job creators"

    January 7, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Concerned Student

    In my opinion, Senator Santorum's comments are inappropriate and take President Obama's words of education out of context. I think the President's comments about a higher rate of college-educated Americans do not imply his desire for government-mandated college enrollment. Rather, his goal is for the government to do all that it can to ensure that every young American has an equal opportunity to prepare for and pursue a college education. Senator Santorum's comments seem to pander to an audience that views any government initiative, beneficial or not, as an infringement upon the rights of the people. Comments such as these will not help him in the general election if he is the GOP nominee.

    January 7, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. nuttycandidate

    Is this man suited to be US President? He doesn't sound like a role model that kids could look up to. He'd make a good excuse for all these kids to drop out of school.

    January 7, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Burrke

    One of the leading education hater...no news here to read ...NEXT

    January 7, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Colgate

    That's right, Rick, let's not encourage any Blah people to further their educational goals and enhance their future earnings and well being. What better way to keep foodstamping Blah people from contributing to this country's success, right Rick?

    January 7, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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