Vice President Joe Biden is headed to Ames today for a speech at Iowa State University. During an interview early this morning with Radio Iowa, Biden rapped GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s suggestion that it’s snobbery to call on all Americans to get at least a year of vocational training or go to college.
“I think there’s an ideological divide between Rick Santorum and all of America on this. I don’t think it’s between the parties,” Biden said. “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…either a certificate or a degree beyond high school. It’s that simple.”
AUDIO of 7 minute interview.
Santorum recently said President Obama was “a snob” for calling on every American to go to college — and Santorum suggested college campuses are akin to liberal training camps. In a rebuttal, the vice president cites statistics indicating people with a college degree will make 21-thousand dollars more a year than some with a high school degree.
“From our standpoint, we think that America’s climbing back out of a hole they got pushed into,” Biden said. “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.”
College is the gateway to the middle class, according to Biden, who warns falling behind other countries in education endangers the country’s competitiveness.
“Any country that out-educates us is going to out-compete us,” Biden told Radio Iowa. “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.”
Over 600,000 jobs are unfilled in the U.S. today, according to Biden, because companies cannot find qualified applicants and he said ensuring Americans have access to community college job-training programs is a way to restore the middle class. Establishing a new tax break for companies that bring jobs back to the U.S. is another proposal from the Obama Administration, aimed at the manufacturing sector.
“We give people a significant tax break if they tear down a factory, clear all the equipment and move it to China,” Biden said. “We don’t give them a tax break if they come back home. We should give them a tax break to come back home, not to go abroad.”
Biden’s visit to Iowa is happening on the same day President Obama’s traveling to New Hampshire. Both states are swing states in the fall election. Republican presidential candidates campaigning in the two states last year called for dramatic cuts in federal taxes on businesses and for erasing regulations. During his midday speech in Ames, Biden plans to tout the idea of rewarding American companies that “in-source” jobs.
“From China and from Mexico and from Latin America, from Vietnam because…we have the most innovative engineers in the world, the most innovative workers in the world, the most productive workers,” Biden told Radio Iowa this morning. “So I’m very bullish about what’s going on at Iowa State, but also what’s going on all across the country.”
Biden is scheduled to speak in Howe Hall on the Iowa State University campus at about 11:30 this morning.