February 27th, 2012
01:09 PM ET
Washington (CNN) – The White House repeatedly maintains President Obama isn’t monitoring the day-to-day rhetoric Republicans fire at him on the campaign trail. But the president all but directly responded to Rick Santorum’s latest jab.
Over the weekend, during which the former Pennsylvania senator called Obama a “snob” for suggesting all young Americans should go to college, Santorum told supporters in Michigan, “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,”
Speaking before most of the nation's governors at the White House Monday, the president appeared to hit back at Santorum’s comments without mentioning the Republican presidential candidate by name.
“I have to make a point here,” the president said. “When I speak about higher education, we're not just talking about a four year degree.”
“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,” he continued.
During his State of the Union Address last month, Obama said of the issue, "Higher education can't be a luxury - it is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford."
Standing by his comments in a subsequent interview Sunday, Santorum said, "Barack Obama is a person of the left. He is someone who believes in big government. He believes in the values that are, unfortunately, the dominant values, and political values, and overly politicized values, and politically correct values that are on most college and university campuses."