Biden: there’s “an ideological divide b/t Santorum & all of America” over college ed (audio)

President Obama is headed to New Hampshire today. Vice President Biden is on his way to Iowa, for a mid-day appearance at Iowa State University.  (Both Iowa & New Hampshire are swing/battleground states in the 2012 General Election.)  Biden called into the Radio Iowa newsroom just before he left D.C.

AUDIO Full interview (runs just under 7 minutes).

I asked Biden about GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s snobbery comment. Below is the transcript of that portion of the interview.

Henderson: “Senator Santorum recently said there’s a bit of snobbery involved in suggesting every American should take at least one year of vocational training or a year of college. Are you making a trip to a college campus today to sort of highlight what may be a developing ideological divide between the two parties over the value of college education?”

Biden: “Well, I think there’s an ideological divide between Rick Santorum and all of America on this. (Laughter) I don’t think it’s between the parties.  Look, I’ve been going college campuses and high schools all across America for the past six months talking about what the facts are. Six out of the 10 jobs over the next 10 years are going to require an advanced degree, a degree beyond, either a certificate or a degree beyond high school. It’s that simple. People with a college degree today make, on average, will make the rest of their life $21,000 a year more than someone with a high school degree.  People with a two year degree from a community college will make, are making $8000, will continue to make $8000 a year more. This is about living a middle class life.    

“Look, from our standpoint we think that America’s climbing back out of a hole they got pushed into. We’re determined to restore the bargain with the middle class and make everyone, give ‘em a fair deal and it’s going to take reviving American manufacturing and access to college and college education and an all-of-the-above approach on energy to make sure this happens and I don’t know how we can, look, let me put it another way.

“I was asked by a group of foreign policy specialists what I thought the most significant thing we could do to maintain our security advantage into this century and I’m supposedly a foreign policy guy and it was an easy answer for me. I said, ‘Have the best educated population in the world.’

“Any country that out-educates us is going to out-compete us. 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.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.

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