Will Jeb’s support for Common Core hurt his bid for the Republican nomination?
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s anticipated quest for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination faces a number of obstacles, most of which arise from the right-wing bent of GOP primary voters.
Take, for example, the issue of education. Bush is on record in favor of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts. Most states already have adopted Common Core standards, but GOP wingnuts are avowedly opposed — probably because the Obama administration is pushing the reforms.
Two months ago, a prominent former assistant to George W. Bush, SAID Common Core poses a big threat to Jeb’s presidential ambitions:
Karl Rove says Jeb Bush’s support for Common Core education standards will be the biggest obstacle he faces as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination.
“Common Core is, I think, the biggest challenge he faces,” Rove said Tuesday on the Fox News show “America’s Newsroom.” “The question is, how can he defend high academic standards, which he believes in, when it has been conflated with the Obama administration.”
Rove, formerly the top adviser to Bush’s brother, President George W. Bush, said Common Core was originally a Republican idea put forth by Bill Bennett, the secretary of Education under President Reagan who was later appointed to a post in the administration of President George H.W. Bush.
But Rove said President Obama has since grasped onto it, making it toxic to Republican voters.
“The Obama administration has gotten involved in this and some conservatives believe the administration is trying to push those [standards] down the throat of state and local governments,” Rove said. “So Jeb’s answer on how he defends this is going to have an impact on his standing with conservatives.”
We’re in March now, and Bush says he’s still in favor of Common Core, but his rhetoric was a little squishy the other day, as we see HERE:
An Iowa Republican who supports the federal education standards thanked Bush for his backing at a Des Moines fundraiser. “I applaud you for your support of Common Core,” Mary Ann Miller said, urging him to “keep on that topic.”
“I’m not going to back down on that,” Bush told Miller, though he never used the term “Common Core,” Then he added the non-sequitur: “What I can tell you is the federal government shouldn’t be involved in this.”
What does that even mean? Common Core is a federal government initiative to get states to raise educational standards; that’s the gist of the right’s complaint against it.