Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a primary election night party in Cranberry, Pa., Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
The cuts at California's public universities have been severe, but not as severe as Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum imagines.
Santorum claimed recently that University of California and California State University systems don't teach U.S. history. Indeed, these schools have history requirements and departments devoted to the subject.
In this day and age, it appears possible to say anything bad about California, however improbable, in the expectation that the public will believe it, outside of California.
Fortunately, Santorum didn't get away with this, as comedian Stephen Colbert eviscerated him in the above video.
Santorum has made a habit of wild, thoughtless attacks on higher education. He mocked President Obama as "a snob" for urging Americans to get more education. This is a vital goal because of the close correlation between college graduation rates and economic competitiveness. California history demonstrates this connection; new census data from 1940 released this week showed that California once led the nation in percentage of college graduates.
The U.S., once the world's leader in this statistic, has dropped. Comments like Santorum's don't help.
It's enough to make you wonder what it is they teach at Santorum's alma mater, Penn State.