Rick Santorum Says Obama’s a Snob for Promoting Higher Education

The GOP candidate also once promoted higher education.

Posted: 02/27/2012 10:57 AM EST
Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum is on a "foot-in-mouth" roll. At a Saturday campaign event, the presidential hopeful called President Obama a snob because of his call to increase the proportion of college graduates so the nation can remain economically competitive.

 

“Not all folks are gifted in the same way,” Santorum told an enthusiastic crowd of about 1,000 activists at the Americans for Prosperity forum in Troy, Michigan. “Some people have incredible gifts with their hands. Some people have incredible gifts and want to work out there making things. President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.”

 

Let's pause for a moment and consider why Obama may not be a "snob," but someone who understands that a college education may be essential for Americans, and especially African-Americans.

 

Post-secondary education is particularly important for African-Americans who traditionally have a higher unemployment rate. By 2016, some form of post-secondary education or training will be required for four out of every ten new jobs. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2009, just 19.1 percent of Blacks held a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 29.9 percent of whites and 52.3 percent of Asians and Pacific Islanders.

 

While income varies based on occupation, the bottom line is that the more you learn, the more you earn. In 2009, the Census Bureau reports, adults with master’s degrees earned $6,700 per month on average, and those with bachelor’s degrees and associate’s degrees earned $5,400 and $4,200 per month, respectively. Adults with some college but no degree earned an average monthly salary of $3,600, while those with a high school diploma and those without earned $3,179 and $2,434, respectively.

 

Santorum also accused the president of wanting to remake people in his image.

 

“There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them,” he said. “Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.”

 

But, according to a Talking Points Memo report, Santorum, who holds bachelor’s, MBA and law degrees, may be a hypocrite. In 2006, his Senate campaign Web site said that he wanted to ensure that primary and secondary schools were “equipped for success” and was “equally committed to ensuring that every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education.” The site also said that Santorum had established a $250 million grant program to help historically Black colleges and universities “bridge the digital divide.”

 

 

What do you think, is Obama a snob for advocating higher education for Americans?

 

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(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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