by Félix Pérez
The results from the March 13 GOP presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi are in, and after 27 electoral contests that began in early January, neither Rick Santorum — who won both contests yesterday — nor Mitt Romney have emerged as the clear front runner.
What is clear, though, is that both candidates fall short when compared to President Obama on issues that matter to middle class families and voters.
Support for Public Schools and Educators
President Obama used his bully pulpit to fight for the economic stimulus bills that saved or created 275,000 teaching and education support jobs and prevented up to 280,000 teacher layoffs.
Romney called the education jobs bill a “little Band-Aid.”
Santorum has taken direct aim at public schools jobs, likening them to “factories” and saying, “It’s amazing that so many kids turn out to be fairly normal, considering the weird socialization they get in public schools.”
Access to Higher Education
President Obama played a leading role in the passage of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which strengthened the Pell Grant program, helped student borrowers manage their student loan debt by capping repayments and invested in community colleges.
Santorum called President Obama a “snob” for wanting all students to have access to education after high school. “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.” He added that there are good workers who have skills that “aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them.”
Romney, who until March 10, did not list higher education — or education at all — on his website, supports the House Republican leadership’s budget proposal, which would cut Pell Grants by 25 percent or more.
Support for Worker Rights
President Obama upholds the rights of workers to collectively bargain to protect their jobs. When Ohio was the epicenter of anti-worker attacks from legislators last year, Obama stated he “strongly disapproves of new laws restricting public employee unions in Ohio.”
Santorum compared the more than 1 million Wisconsin workers who oppose Governor Scott Walker’s anti-collective bargaining law to drug users. “They are acting like their drug is being taken away from them,” Santorum said.
Romney stood “110 percent” with Ohio Governor John Kasich when he tried to strip public sector workers of their rights.