Biden hits Santorum over 'snob' comment
March 1st, 2012
10:29 AM ET
3 years ago

Biden hits Santorum over 'snob' comment

(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden turned his fire on Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum Thursday, saying his recent "snob" comment about college represents a disconnect with the American people.

"I think there's an ideological divide between Rick Santorum and all of America on this. I don't think it's between the parties," Biden told Radio Iowa. "It's not about snobbery. It's about allowing people to live a life like their parents lived, in a middle-class environment, decent home, good school, a promise to send their kids to college and being able to take care of their parents and not have to be taken care of themselves by the time they're their parents' age."

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Santorum recently categorized President Barack Obama as a "snob" for calling on every American to attend college.

"Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image," Santorum said last week. "I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his."

Santorum has said he supports different types of higher education, not just four year degrees, saying education should vary based on an individual's strengths.

But Biden, who is in Ames, Iowa Thursday for a speech, said college degrees increase the probability of success.

"Look, I've been going college campuses and high schools all across America for the past six months talking about what the facts are," Biden said. "Six out of the 10 jobs over the next 10 years are going to require … either a certificate or a degree beyond high school. It's that simple."

The vice president's remarks follow similar comments from Obama Monday, when he seemingly addressed Santorum, without using his name.

"When I speak about higher education, we're not just talking about a four year degree," Obama said. "We're talking about somebody going to a community college and getting trained for that manufacturing job that now is requiring somebody walking through the door handling a million dollar piece of equipment, and they can't go in there unless they've got some basic training beyond what they received in high school."

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Filed under: 2012 • Education • Joe Biden • Rick Santorum
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    Santorum has an undergraduate degree, MBA and a law degree.

    I believe before he decided to home school his kids (something that most of american cannot afford to do), he sent them to private school. Sounds like he is a snob and then some based on his definition.

    March 1, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "When I speak about higher education, we're not just talking about a four year degree," Obama said. "We're talking about somebody going to a community college and getting trained for that manufacturing job that now is requiring somebody walking through the door handling a million dollar piece of equipment, and they can't go in there unless they've got some basic training beyond what they received in high school."
    -------------–
    Those are almost the exact same words he used in his 2009 speech. This time he omitted the most critical word that drove home the point he was making in 2009, "opportunity." He had spoken about how he felt that everyone "should have the opportunity attend higher education." He then went on to explain what that meant using words similar to those above.

    March 1, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Frank A NYC

    Santorum is firmly stuck in the 18th century. Look at the unemployment numbers among college grads and non college grads. The differences are stark

    March 1, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. NVa Native

    There are so many repulsive things coming out of Satanorums mouth that he should not even be a viable candidate – except maybe in the area of Pakistan where the Taliban has control.

    March 1, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. A not-so-stupid former republican

    If Santorum thinks that a college degree is for snobs, why does he have three of them? If he so values the undereducated, why does he have a law degree?

    March 1, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. A little sad

    When was it decided that an education was a bad thing?

    March 1, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Can someone explain to me exactly what is is that Biden does on a day-to-day basis, besides being kept hidden from the public by his boss due to his justified embarrassment of this buffoon?

    Come on, Joe... spend some more time in front of the microphone. We could really use some classic comic relief in these tough times.

    March 1, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Publius Novus

    Santorum is quoted as stating that "I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his." Wow. That says alot about Rick Santorum's warped concept of child rearing. Santorum wants to "remake" chikdren in particular images. Scary. Not my concept of child rearing. My wife and I tried–and we flatter ourselves in thinking that we had a measure of success–to raise children of character who would become independent, industrious, thinking, and contributing adults. We didn't try to "remake" or replicate ourselves in our children.

    March 1, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. RobertC

    Santorum's comments were totally irresponsible in today's global market. I have been working overseas for the past 10 years and we bring less and less Western Expats over because the gap is closing. The rest of the world is catching up and they place a very high value on education.

    March 1, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. Durundal

    its no disconnect, he's playing off the large population of uneducated, low skilled, Americans who are frustrated because of the times, and havent an inkling as to how they came about. These are the perfect target for an election because they just might be irrational enough to move to elect a religious kook without understanding the consequences.

    March 1, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Beverley Allen

    Honestly, I really cant believe a politician running for office, let alone the office of President of the United States, would make a statement like that. That statement alone disqualify him from any office to represent the people!

    March 1, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. bsoutofbidenmouth

    Llike this guy should bash anyone.

    March 1, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. king

    Hey this just confirm my beleif with repubs, they represent the international corporations, international corporations don't need highly educated Americans, because they can get that from China, and India. Look who they've got got in their front offices. America need an improve educational force to compete with these countries, and to hell with the repubs and their special interest.

    March 1, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Chris

    Maybe we need to rethink what we're teaching kids in high school. If you want a manufacturing job, there are plenty of high school career centers that should be able to prepare a kid to work those jobs without losing 2 years of their work life to go to a community college or tech school. Instead, we're teaching them about Shakespeare.

    March 1, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Sid AIrfoil

    As usual, much ado about nothing. Obama said he wants all people to have the OPPORTUNITY to go to college is they want without money standing in the way. He did not say that everyone should go to college, and not everyone should.

    Santorum is setting up a straw man.

    Sid

    March 1, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. jennifer in Houston

    Santorum is a sad joke, the son of blue collar parents he went to college and Law School got into Politics and has made millions.. He's the snob for not wanting other blue collar kids to benefit like him. Of course it does occur to me that the reason Santorum gets his moments of fame is because he is talking to the under educated who sucker into his rhetoric.

    March 1, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Horus

    "I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his."

    This is telling of Santorum's contolling nature. I don't want to remake my kids into anything. I want them to build their own personalities, achieve their own success, and develop their own ideology. Santorum wants kids to simply "follow" in cultural tradition. No thanks.

    March 1, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. A. Goodwin

    Well, we've always known that the GOP is against education. And Santorum's comments are proof. God help us all if any GOPer ends up becoming president. We might as well hurl out textbooks aside and sign up for that awesome McDonald's job.

    March 1, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. no1knows

    Who is Joe Biden?

    March 1, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. judy

    Joe is right. Our vice president is a really decent man Who does understand the middle class. He is agreat dad ,loving husband and will do a good job as VP this second time around. Obama/Biden 2012

    March 1, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. John

    It's ridiculous that a politician can say Obama is a snob for suggesting people should get more education than just high school. My mother and father were both conservatives, and neither one went to college, but they both wanted me to go. They knew it would increase my chances of having a decent life, making something of myself. And thanks to those two people who pushed me to go, I was able to make a decent life for my family.

    Why would anyone say higher education is a bad thing?

    I really wonder about someone who would think that way.

    March 1, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  22. asdf

    Unless Santorum is deluded enough to think he can turn back time or bring back manufacturing jobs to their levels of 30 years ago, he's basically saying that he would prefer if kids now are unemployed in 10 years.

    March 1, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  23. Rosslaw

    Well, if Santorum and his ilk get child labor laws eliminated, do away with the minimum wage and pass bills like the Blount amendment which allow employers to "exercise their conscience" to disallow employees health insurance, among other benefits, who needs to go to college? We'll have our right-wing workers paradise.

    March 1, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. BlueCrab

    What we need is a bumper sticker that reads: "Rick Santorum, the antieducation candidate."

    Santorum's ccomments about President Obama wanting more students going college really illustrates his (Santorum's) antieducation bias. It is enought to make me want to gag!

    I wonder what Santorum would say about those highly educated and skilled health care professionals who help take care of his daughter when she is hospitalized. From lab techs, nurses, etc., to even the physicians, surely one or two of them were educated at so-called "liberal" institutions of higher education. Where would we be as a nation without such educated people? What this country needs, if we are to compete in increasingly skilled global economy, is more college trained people, whether they are scientists, engineers, economists, teachers, historians, etc. who can read, think, speak, and even recognize cause and effect when the see it. It makes little difference if they get their education at a community college, or go on to receive professional credentals and graduate degrees at a university. Joining the work force with only a high school degree (or even no degree) just will not cut it any more.

    It really made me sick when I heard Santorum's comments and then heard his (mostly tea-party?) supporters roar their approval. No wonder his supporters like him so well, he is just like them.

    March 1, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Joe The Plumber

    Joe Biden, an extremely nice man who isn't going to win many Nobel Prizes, should spend a little more time thinking of the big picture.

    Criticizing Santorum helps Romney which hurts his boss.

    March 1, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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