The Washington Times - September 27, 2011, 01:19PM

Fresh off his first major appearance as chairman of the Republican Governors Association in New Hampshire, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell continued his criticism — and praise, in one case — of President Obama.

“We’re both really realizing that we made a big mistake back in 2008 because both of our states went for President Obama,” he told the New Hampshire audience of their state and his, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “I hope you’re all ready to fix that problem next year in New Hampshire.”

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But on his monthly appearance on Tuesday’s “Ask the Governor” program on WTOP, Mr. McDonnell praised the administration’s recent announcement that states can apply for waivers from certain requirements of the unpopular “No Cild Left Behind” Act.

“I am happy with the change President Obama is proposing,” he said. “It was a noble goal: A rising tide lifts all boats. It got tied up with unrealistic achievement levels, and a lot of federal bureaucracy. Education is primarily the responsibility of the parents, the states and the local school boards.”

Virginia has indicated that it will apply for a waiver from the law’s requirement that mandate that all children in public schools are proficient in reading and math by 2014. In order to be granted waivers, states must show that they have sufficient standards to prep students for college and ensure that teachers and principals are subject to certain evaluation standards.

“Education is primarily the responsibility of parents, states, and local school boards,” he said. “We can’t pretend that we are training our kids the best that we can be trained.”

As he did last night in his first major speech as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, however, Mr. McDonnell also took the opportunity to criticize the president in response to a question about the Muhtar Kent, the CEO of Coca Cola telling the Financial Times that he’d rather invest in China or Russia over the United States at this point.

“I was staggered, but I’m hearing this more and more from businesses around America, because they see the uncertainty and unpredictability in how this administration approaches the economy,” he said. “I like the president personally, I want him to succeed, but the policies are the issue. We’ve got the second-highest corporate income tax rate in the world. … That is not something that incentivizes businesses to stay in America.”