Both President Barack Obama and leading GOP state leaders spoke out during the National Governors Association against a negative comment that Rick Santorum lodged against the president.
The Republican candidate recently chastised Obama for saying young Americans should go to college.
“Not all folks are gifted in the same way,” Santorum told a crowd of more than a thousand activists at the Americans for Prosperity forum in Troy, Mich. “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 made the comment on Saturday as he looks to drum up support amongst blue-collar Republicans ahead of today's primaries in Michigan and Arizona.
The president rejected Santorum's assessment on Monday in an address to the governors. He said his stance on higher education doesn't always mean traditional universities.
“I'm not only talking about four-year degrees,” Obama said. “I'm also talking about going to community college to get a degree for a manufacturing job where you have to walk through the door to handle a million-dollar piece of equipment.”
He also introduced the Education Blueprint, which outlines the achievements the administration believes it has made on education, and the president asked the governors to support the plan and to stop cutting state funding for education.
GOP governors also spoke out against Santorum's comments on education.
“I wish he'd said it differently,” Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell said of Santorum. “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.”
Journalists have since weighed in noting that after analyzing numerous speeches they could find no evidence of Obama saying everyone should go to college. They also pointed out that Santorum technically has more degrees than Obama. The former Pennsylvania senator has a BA, an MBA, and a JD, while the president possesses a BA and JD.