Posted at 01:08 PM ET, 02/28/2012

Ga. Gov. Nathan Deal, a Newt Gingrich supporter, kicks off college initiative following Santorum remarks


Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) (Associated Press)

Days after GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum first made headlines by calling President Obama a “snob” for wanting “everybody in America to go to college,” a prominent backer of former House speaker Newt Gingrich in a key Super Tuesday state is kicking off the latest phase of his plan to increase the state’s number of college graduates over the next several years.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) on Tuesday announced the latest part of the Peach State’s “Complete College Georgia” program. The initiative, which was launched six months ago, is aimed at boosting the number of college graduates in Georgia by 250,000 by the year 2020.

And as the release from Deal’s office notes, those graduates can include recipients of “a one-year certificate, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree” – language that mirrors both Obama’s and Santorum’s phrasing when it comes to higher education.

(As The Post’s Factchecker Glenn Kessler noted Tuesday morning, Santorum has claimed incorrectly that Obama has demanded a four-year college education of all Americans.)

“Any significant increase in the number of Georgians who complete college will require a historic new era of coordination between the state’s public and private colleges and the business community,” Deal said in a statement Tuesday.

“To have a successful future in Georgia, and remain competitive nationwide and globally, we have to have an educated workforce, and that means we need to do a better job getting people into college, make sure they receive a high-quality education and then graduate them,” he added.

Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

By  |  01:08 PM ET, 02/28/2012

Tags:  Georgia primary, Super Tuesday, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich

 
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