March 2nd, 2012
05:09 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum pulls back on 'snob' criticism of Obama

(CNN) – Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on Friday dialed back on particular criticism of President Barack Obama, saying that his terming of Obama as a "snob" was a "little over the top."

"It was a strong term, probably not the smartest thing but you know what I don't give prepared talking points speeches written by other people," Santorum said in an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." "I got a little passionate there and I used a harsher word than I normally would but the point was government shouldn't be dictating to people what they do."

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Santorum said the president's emphasis on education – which Obama highlighted recently in his January State of the Union remarks – reflects the attitude of a "snob."

"Why does Obama want everybody to go to college? So his liberal college professors can be indoctrinating people like he was when he was in college," Santorum said on Feb. 25 in Hixson, Tennessee. People need training they need skills but they don't need to go to where Barack Obama thinks they should go. They need to go where their dreams and their heart wants them to go and where their opportunities that fit what is best for them."

That comment drew responses from the president, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, who rarely speak out on the GOP presidential race.

"I have to make a point here," Obama told governors gathered at the White House on Monday. "When I speak about higher education, we're not just talking about a four year degree."

In a radio interview on Thursday, Biden said former senator's comments show Santorum, rather than Obama, as out of touch.

"I think there's an ideological divide between Rick Santorum and all of America on this," Biden told Radio Iowa. "I don't think it's between the parties. 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."

In the interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Santorum addressed inflammatory comments by radio host Rush Limbaugh and criticized the President's foreign policy.

Santorum said the US should put "President Karzai on the line for this behavior and have public apologies" and trials for rioting which broke out after copies of the Quran were accidentally burned with trash on a US military base in Afghanistan.

Ahead of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference this weekend, Santorum said the US should be on "the same page" as Israel in their understanding of the country's nuclear program.

"I would say to the prime minister, there is no distance between the two of us, that we are committed, together, to making sure that Iran is not a, does not become a nuclear power and that we will work in concert, if necessary, or, depending on what we believe is the best course of action, either unilaterally or in concert," he said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    A little over the top? HA!

    And you still think that people getting an education makes them snobs.

    WHY are you even in politics when your IQ must be in the gutter?

    March 2, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. Dr Knowitall

    Yeah, probably not, but maybe elitist snob.

    March 2, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rick, do yourself a favor and start talking economics, unemployment and Obamacare NONSTOP. Don't let the LSM play you like a fiddle!!

    March 2, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Hunter27

    You can bet Santorum's ugly kids will go to a snooty Ivy League schools. What a hypocrite.

    March 2, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. GI Joe.

    Kinda like republicans not dictating to women about their bodies? Threatening to probe them if they get pregnant? Or denying women much-needed medicines/medical care?

    Correct! But on education (since K thru 12 is mandatory is most states) WHY NOT SUGGEST higher education or certificate of trade school? It's not a mandate like the PROBE?

    March 2, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. Rob Rubin

    The GOP mantra: Keep 'em fat, dumb, and ignorant.

    How in the world is the man still even in the running? And even more bizarre, how is he polling within 5% of Obama in many cases. Seriously, people?

    March 2, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. anagram_kid

    Don't worry Sen. Santorum, no one expects you to be smart. However, it would be great if you could be honest and admit you lied and misquoted President Obama. Isn’t there something in that you book you love so much about bearing false witness? .

    March 2, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. V in Chicago

    PLEASE – don't let this idiot anywhere near the White House!

    March 2, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. clevercandi

    "...the point was government shouldn't be dictating to people what they do."

    I couldn't agree more; however, isn't Santorum in favor of telling women what to do when it comes to their own bodies?

    March 2, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. ted

    Typical GOP idiot. They are all elitist but want the rest of America to suffer with their pro rich/corporation policies that eliminate our jobs.

    March 2, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  11. Squigman

    Too late. You've shown your true feelings, now live with the consequences.

    March 2, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. Joe YOU LIE Wilson

    we saw the real Santorum, and it scared the bejeezus out of everyone.

    March 2, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. realist

    Hey Santorum kids, good news! You can goof off in high school ( well, you;ll be at home, won't you) 'cos you don't have to go to college now! Yay! You can stay home, barefoot and pregnant (as your church suggets) and be underachievers forever. That's the New American Way. Thankls, Rick!

    March 2, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    If he wins the nomination, Obama will wipe the floor with him. It'll be great fodder for the late night comics.

    March 2, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. Phil in KC

    I thought we wanted our young people to go to college and make a better life for themselves. Who could be against that? Evidently Rick Santorum. I don't know how so many people could vote for this guy. He is so out of touch with reality.

    March 2, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Jae

    Who is this obama guy? Where is our president? After president bush left office no news says president before a persons name! No gop candidate says president before a persons name! No white people says president before a persons name! What? Did a black person become president?

    March 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin S. F.

    >Church – Palladin(Paladin?), where do you roam

    Mostly the streets and sewers of Miami. As a homeless person, I hang out a lot in the internet cafes.

    March 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Attila, The Hun

    He's only back pedalling because his stupid comment did not work out as he had hoped.

    March 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. poopmeister

    Good point clevercandi! Does anyone else get the feeling, that if, President Obama pushed for every single thing that the republicans would want passed, that they would still criticize him any second they could?

    March 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Rationalintn

    Santorum and Rush are just playing good cop/bad cop. Rick has watched his poll numbers nosedive due to his contraception crazy talk. Rush steps up and says something truly crazy to get attention. Rick steps in, scolds Limbaugh, just to make Rick look like the sane one. Unfortunately, most American women have heard enough from Santorum. He will never be president.

    March 2, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Attila, The Hun

    His statemement was foolish, however, not everyone needs to go to college. Maybe Santorum should prepare remarks before just shooting from the hip. Is this how he will behave when confronted with a national disaster or meeting with other world leaders? Fortunately, we will never know because he will not be president in anyone's lifetime.

    March 2, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. Orchid333

    The difference between Obama and three of the four GOP contenders is he would have peace where they would prefer war. Obama wants to satiate the majority of people rather than just a select few. GOP out of touch? You betcha.

    March 2, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "If he wins the nomination, Obama will wipe the floor with him."

    I certainly hope not. Santorum is very slippery.

    ....not to mentin frothy....

    March 2, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. ed

    BTW, Rick has 3 college degrees,and you are where you are now because of that. Did you get indoctrinated by the colleges or are you in the image of Obama? What kind of cool aid are you drinking?

    March 2, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "either unilaterally or in concert"

    Haha...real deep thinker this guy. Yes, Captain Frothy, those are the two options. Either we do whatever we want all by our lonesome or we work with people to implement jiont solutions. Good job. You managed to say that yuor foreign policy towards Iran and Israel is basically nonexistent. Would you like a cookie, moron?

    March 2, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |