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. Daniel

    Isnt Rick Sanitarium a lawyer? I thought you had to go to school for that?

    March 1, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Santorum has reduced himself to a "whistling" idiot if you catch my drift. It would appear that his only function in this nomination process is to be the re-incarnation of Sarah Palin by lying and publicly making the most outrageous divisive statements to get the "base" worked up and frothing against our President. People are yelling and screaming vile things against Obama at his rallies and he stands there all buck-toothed and wide-eyed complacently letting them go at it. He's another Christian in name only talking out of both sides of his mouth. He's got no solutions because he is too busy slammming Obama, Romney and anyone else that he sets his sights on.
    He's a creeping creep not long for political life.

    March 1, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Terry

    Santorum needs to get his facts straight. Obama said everyone should have the opportunity to go to college. Santorum had no problem for higher education for himself and his family. He has no plan for America except to push his theocratic agenda.

    March 1, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Fecklar

    Having never even hear of Santorum before this race, the first time I heard him speak, I was impressed. These days, I cannot look at the man, and change the channel. He is one religious nutcase, totally out of touch with most Americans.
    I would rather have Obama in than Santorum. (My god, I can't believe what I am writing). Never mind.

    March 1, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. LMC

    It's amazing the types of job listings today that state a preference for at least an AA degree, if not a BA or BS. Perhaps Santorum doesn't realize there are all kinds of degrees and certifications available if a four year degree does not suit. Right now though, Santorum and other Republicans would refute anything the president says, including the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, just to say something negative.

    March 1, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. parnell in canada

    It's all kind of sad, really. There was a time when we wanted our politicians to be brighter than we are as we trusted they needed that level of intelligence to make the tough decisions, to have the vision required and to be able to come up with policy ideas that would move the country forward. Lately, we get the drivel from the likes of Sarah Palin, Santorum, et al who go to great lengths to show that they're not really that bright and don't worry they won't tell you to make your kids brighter than you are, either.
    This idea that we mock people for being intelligent or for having vision is insane and just asking for trouble.

    March 1, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Ese, Katy TX

    @ Andrew, ("when a man has to resort to name calling...") you said it best. @ Biden, tell him uncle Joe, from one catholic to another.

    March 1, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. bearced

    Rick believes about 51% of Americans should be barefoot and pregnant, therefore no colledge required.

    March 1, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. BLKMANinAmerica

    This is just (yet) another piece of PROOF of just how DISCONNECTED each of the repuk Presidential persons are. Santation is all to aware that a degree or certificate is required to even get a receiptionest job today. This is reality even if the repuks sit on the banks of DENIAL about it (which isn't the river in AFRICA) for a clue!

    March 1, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Dave

    It's no secret that the GOP has a fair amount of contempt for education. This is evident when you look at the idiots they have in office, the idiots who they are trying to get in office, and the idiots who support them. Pretty cut-and-dried.

    March 1, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ open 400
    It seems like to me the GOP is becoming a party of out of touch mean-spirited white guys.
    ------------------------
    Becoming? Naw babe.They've had at least 3 1/2 years to unpack, settle in, and bask by the pool while they hope against hope that the country tanks out before November 2012.
    The "House Boy",however, has a different plan. Wink!
    Obama 2012.

    March 1, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Iron Mike

    The nut job thinks liberal arts is about liberal ideology, and not just getting a basic skill set to make someone employable across a number of career choices. Seems Ricky didn;t get enough schoolin', himself,hence his full blown misunderstanding of the concept.

    Do we really want him to have the launch codes? Seriously?

    March 1, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Knucklehead

    Yes. Santorum has an MBA and a law degree. So now he's against education? Is he afraid the American people might actually learn something?

    March 1, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Rose

    Today Benjamin Franklin would be disqualified from getting an entry-level job in Federal service because he didn’t go to college. He was one of 13 children and left home at age 17 to pursue economic opportunity; and to this day we benefit from his fruitful innovative life. He worked to found our great public library system by supplicating to his wealthier friends and patrons. He lacked formal education after age 11, yet he spoke French and travelled to Paris at personal disomfort, risk, and expense to enlist France’s aid against the British. How sad that we shun self-learning! We should encourage our kids at an early age to embrace their passions and promote true achievement, whether they would choose college or not.

    March 1, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Veritas

    Who is this Biden guy? He makes some good points.

    March 1, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Bill

    Futher more, i Joe Biden say it is ok to brag about graduating from colleges you never graduated from. Speaking of mean spirited white guys I am grad joe woke up today. Now the president needs to send him back to his room.

    March 1, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Wayne

    Just look what a college degree did for President Obama. Got out of college, a couple of quick years in the Senate and bingo he is President. Must have been that college education that prepared him.

    March 1, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. Pat F

    It is too bad that none of the candidates, nor the President or VP, are promoting apprenticeship training, such as in the building trades. Let's face it, lots of people are not college material – don't want to be and never will be. But an excellent living, with lots of jobs, is available with apprenticeship training. Example: One of the most in-demand jobs, with the biggest labor shortage, is for welders. And that training is available – FREE – from any sheet metal workers apprenticeship program. And almost all community colleges grant significant credits toward an associates degree with a certification from a Department of Labor approved apprenticeship program.

    March 1, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. clarke

    Well all you snobs out there, who you going to vote for? I guess anyone who has a higher education is a snob except Santo. But it was not a problem for him to take 100K to home school his children and he won't pay it back. Isn't that something. Oh, I forgot he was entitled to that. Sorry no problem. Anyone else who home schools doesn't get paid.

    March 1, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Big T

    The GOP has never been a big fan of educating the masses. Their belief is that college is only for those who can afford it. They also believe that the employer will teach the workers everything they need to know to do their job. This was the model during the early part of the Industrial Revolution in the mid 1800s. Someone needs to periodically remind them that this is the 21st. century and new technologies require a higher degree of education to master.

    March 1, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Dave T

    Maybe Rick is smart enough to realize that any well educated and informed voter is unlikely to vote for him, The GOP wants to keep people uneducated, uninformed and afraid.

    March 1, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    Biden had some tough times getting through his education, especially those 3 years he calls 4th grade.

    March 1, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "Just look what a college degree did for President Obama. Got out of college, a couple of quick years in the Senate and bingo he is President. Must have been that college education that prepared him."

    Haha...you missed the aprt abotu Harvard Law School and several eyars as a state senator...and how could any self-respecting conservative Obama-hater have forgotten to yammer about his years as a community organizer? Try harder next time. Geeesh...you guys are slipping.

    March 1, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Darrell

    Pat F....For your information, president Obama has suggested that individuals get some type of professional trade education or training beyond high school. This includes apprenticeship. Please wake up and open your eyes/ears to know what is going on.

    March 1, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Mike

    Santorum's comments are not surprise. Education is indeed anathema to the Republican party. I have seen Fox commentators literally sneer when they mention someone is from Cambridge, Massachusetts, as if being from a town that has so many institutions of higher education is a mark of shame. They all know that as soon as someone is given the tools to consider and analyze carefully what they are told, they haven't a chance.

    March 1, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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