Marco Rubio blasts Obama “art major” apology as “pathetic”

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Sen. Marco Rubio criticized an apology from President Barack Obama to a Texas art professor, calling it “pathetic”, reports Justin Sink of The Hill.

“Pathetic Obama apology to art history prof,” Rubio said in a tweet Wednesday. “We do need more degrees that lead to #jobs

Ann Collins Johns, an art history Professor at the University of Texas, complained to Obama via the White House website after critical comments the president made about art history majors.

Obama made the remarks at an event at a Milwaukee-area General Electric engine plant, saying Americans who pursued manufacturing training rather than degrees in liberal arts have the chance to make more money.

“I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree,” Obama told the crowd. “Now, nothing wrong with an art history degree — I love art history. So I don’t want to get a bunch of emails from everybody.”

In a handwritten note to Johns, Obama apologized for his “glib remark.”

“Let me apologize for my off-the-cuff remarks. I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history,” the note said. “As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed.

“Understand that I was trying to encourage young people who may not be predisposed to a four-year college experience to be open to technical training that can lead them to an honorable career,” Obama added.

Republicans have criticized Obama before for excessive apologies, leading GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to accuse Obama of starting his first term in office with an “apology tour” to Mideast nations.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.