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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

February 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Rick Santorum calls Barack Obama a "snob” for supporting higher education

Rick Santorum in Detroit, Michigan (James Fassinger/The Guardian)

At an event outside Detroit last Saturday, Rick Santorum called President Obama a “snob” for wanting everyone in America to go to college. He continued to say that Obama wants people to go to college so that he can “remake them in his image,” and that college graduates are more likely to abandon their religious identities. This is not the first time he’s called Obama a snob on the topic.

Obama announced in 2009 that he wants America to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020 and continues to urge state governors to spend money on higher education.

Despite rising tuition costs, there are more high school graduates going to college than ever before. The question of return on investment is a central one — and one no institution can avoid. The University of Washington has launched the Two Years to Two Decades Initiative for just this reason. But evidence still points to the continued value of a college degree.

While it’s not surprising that one of the audience members is wearing a University of Michigan fleece coat in the video from the Santorum event below (you can spot him starting at 1:02) — UM boasts over 26,000 undergraduates enrolled —  it’s an interesting juxtaposition.

Santorum has kicked up quite a response with his recent remarks, and he is not the only Republican hopeful to take a stab at higher education. But whether or not this is a winning argument remains to be seen.  Protestant and Catholic experts are already disputing his claims about the correlation between issues of faith and a college diploma.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that while Santorum may be skeptical of higher education, he holds three degrees and his religious conviction appears to have held up just fine. And those three degrees? They put him one ahead of Obama, who has only two.

Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Education, Election 2012

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