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. cali girl

    Call me a snob any day of the week. Got my education and loving it.

    March 1, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Bob

    Hey, give Satntorum a break. He's just being honest about what the Republican Party prefers: under-educated voters who can easily be duped into supporting policies that benefit the 1% (most if not all of whom have college educations). The GOP motto is "Don't think."

    March 1, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. catie

    Biden please dont comment on other peoples behavior After all you did say this "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,"

    March 1, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Investment Advisor

    Santorum said all forms of higher education, not just 4 year degrees....Wheres the news or difference from what the VP is saying? Please somebody draw a picture to explain this.

    March 1, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Sniffit

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

    When science started disproving religious dogma.

    March 1, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Come Again?

    @sdmco – don't you need a degree to be a ditch digger?

    March 1, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Greg T

    Santorum's comment is emblematic of the purely partisan Republican approach to politics. Rather than Santorum saying that he supports education in the same way as does Obama (college, technical school, etc.), he instead resorts to a specious attack by grasping at thin air and coming up with "snob." Unfortunately, when he made the comment, there was appreciative laughter in the room, meaning that his supporters are just as obstructively divisive as he is.

    March 1, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. lgortman

    Go back to your hole Biden and enjoy the next 10 months before you have to move out the VP house! Your no smartter than Obama or you would not have let him fail as he has the past 3 years!

    March 1, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. Carol

    Santorum needs to visit some companies and find out what their requirements are to get a job. It would not be Santorum's brand of education! Obama also supports community colleges for more specialized jobs. Santorum is scary!!!

    March 1, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. Sniffit

    "I want my intelligent, responsible and adult opposition back."

    Seconded. although I would remove Reagan from your list.

    March 1, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Mindie from Indie

    Of course Rick Santaliban is wrong -wrong – wrong. America knows this. Ricky will never be POTUS. Obama's gonna win this anyway – and the GOP are giving it to him in a landslide.

    Oh and Catie – complimenting a person in anyway they know how is fine. However, telling people not to get an education because only snobs do is fundamentally just wrong and America knows it. I'll take Biden over Ricky or any of the GOP clowns anyday. Telling women that using contraceptives should be something their gov't, husbands, clergy and anyother other than that woman, is also fundamentally just wrong for America and we know it. Obama 2012, Elizabeth Warren 2016. I doubt a GOP will ever again hold the highest office in this country in our lifetime.

    March 1, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    yogi – @Truth.
    Have you checked the cive president's schedule lately? You might want to consider you posting name, it doesn't seem very accurate either. You must feel very frustrated with the field of candidates, and what Biden said must have hit a nerve with you.
    =========================================================================================
    No yogi, don't keep track of this buffoon's schedule. I'm sure it's packed solid with tax payer paid fund raising events for his incompetent boss.

    And I am far from frustarcted when I see Romney and others polling ahead of Obama. I am really looking forward to sending this union owned divider in chief back to his corrupt Chicago next January.

    March 1, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. chuck

    Unfortunatly higher education for anything other than engineering or medical is broken. Taking shots because he is a christian is way off. We have too many fools teaching in college's becaause they are failures in the real world. They knock christianity because they have their own religion and that's themselves. These people are trying to teach our kids for the future? They only want to spread their opinion and pull their students down with them.

    March 1, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. logicnLA

    Catie- there is a difference about a statement made referring what is called "clean cut guy" and someone calling the President a snob. Santorum is an arrogant, closed-minded,hateful man. and I did not mean something else.

    March 1, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Brian

    College educations are for "elitists" we've heard this time and time again under different contexts.

    March 1, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "Santorum said all forms of higher education, not just 4 year degrees....Wheres the news or difference from what the VP is saying? Please somebody draw a picture to explain this."

    I'm sorry, but crayons have been declared liberal indoctrination tools. All kindergarteners must now fingerpaint in their own blood.

    March 1, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Mindie from Indie

    It's proof – the GOP want all Americans (except the rich and connected) to be sick, ignorant and poor. Obama/Biden 2012!

    March 1, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    Santorum only remembers his blue-collar roots when he's on the campaign trail: in the meantime, he lives a life that is as privileged as they come. Its rather pathetic to see someone denigrate the very thing that helped boost himself up( 3 college degrees is VERY elitist), while ignoring the fact that community college and the certificate programs they offer have been championed by this president and his administration from the very beginning. Convenient, but understandable amnesia, Rick: nice attempt at deflecting attention away from your history of diverting public school funds for your family's personal use.

    March 1, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Lynne

    I think it's funny that a guy with an education is saying that getting an education or advocating for people to get an education makes you a snob!

    He got his but he doesn't want you to get yours because he doesn't want you to be able to think on your own!!!

    Post high school education doesn't only mean going to a University!! I work at a 2 year technical college...aka votech. Students can learn to be auto mechanics, accountants, physical therapist assistants and RNs! People can do an apprenticeship through a union...that is considered post high school training. Does that make you a snob? Really?

    March 1, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. JohnRJohnson

    Santorum's public statements on this subject and every other subject are unworthy of comment by anybody. He is unfit to hold public office. The people in his home state figured that out several years ago.

    March 1, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    "When was it decided that an education was a bad thing?"
    ==========================================
    When leftists and lefist controlled unions took over the education system in this country. Since then it has done nothing but bankrupt cities and towns and churn out drop outs and kids that can't read and write. And the few that make it to college get the honor of paying hundreds of thousands for leftist indoctrination by ultra liberal professors.

    March 1, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Jake

    Yup, gop policy...keep em stupid so they'll be easily manipulated. Typical republican ideology.

    March 1, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Danno

    That was a fairly on the point topic that Biden brought up. Speaking as a person who has gone to college I've worked everything from a 100,000 sq. foot warehouse sweeper, a housing construction leader, a welder, a graphic designer, and a political non-profit employee. All in all college has been ONLY the foothold for my abilites, if I didn't have it I would not have had a chance to do or go where I have been. I'm interested in how the rest of the GOP took the comment from Santorum since he himself holds a Bachelors from Penn. State, a MBA from the University of Pittsburg, AND a Juris Doctorate from Dickenson School of Law.... AKA HE wouldn't be where he was WITHOUT HIS education.

    That, and the masses are easier to control when they aren't educated. Just a side comment.

    March 1, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Scott O' Canada

    If you think education is difficult, try being stupid. Mr. Santorum, before you open your mouth next time, a closed mouth gathers no foot. Before he say anything going forward, remember to not test the water using both feet. That was most probably the dumbest thing I have heard a politician say in a very long time. At yet, you're still in the race. Go figure.

    March 1, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. mdn

    Republicans prefer their supporters to be as dumb as possible.

    March 1, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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