Biden: Santorum’s ‘snob’ comments out of step with ‘all of America’

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"Look, I've been going to 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."

Santorum was responding to remarks Obama made during a 2009 address to Congress during which he called on all Americans to commit to seeking some sort of higher education.

"So tonight I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training," Obama said. "This can be a community college or a four-year school, vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high-school diploma."

Santorum objected to that suggestion on the campaign trail, saying the president wanted to steer Americans toward liberal universities so they would learn values similar to his own.

“Not all folks are gifted in the same way,” Santorum said at a forum in Michigan. “Some people have incredible gifts with their hands. ... President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.”

Santorum's comments drew criticism from Republicans, including GOP presidential opponent Newt Gingrich. The former House Speaker said Tuesday on the "Today Show" that while "you have to ask Santorum" to defend his criticism of the president, he supported additional education to service a changing economy and thought "that every American ought to be trained."

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell — a surrogate for Mitt Romney — also denounced Santorum's remarks.

“I wish he’d said it differently,” McDonnell said Monday, according to The Washington Post. “When you look at what’s going on in other countries, China, India, the premium they put on higher education — we’ve got to do better if we still want to be the global leader we are.”

Obama also appeared to hit back against Santorum's comments during an education address Monday, although the White House later insisted his comments were general in nature.

“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.”