Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, took a direct shot at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s support for Common Core educational standards Tuesday, shortly after Mr. Bush announced he was actively exploring a bid for the White House in 2016.
“Maybe he has more ground he needs to gain. He’s been out of this for a while, so maybe he needs to get back in and practice up a bit. I don’t know,” Mr. Paul said on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” of the timing of Mr. Bush’s announcement.
Mr. Paul said he’s still a few more months away from an announcement of his own on a possible White House bid in 2016, and went on to say that Mr. Bush’s support for the Common Core standards would make it difficult for him in a Republican primary.
“You know, Ronald Reagan ran on the platform of getting rid of the Department of Education,” Mr. Paul said in video flagged by Mediaite. “We’ve always believed in decentralized education. So for Jeb Bush to run in the primary will be very, very difficult because if you’re going to be for a national curriculum and for Common Core and No Child Left Behind, this accumulation of power in Washington, that’s not very popular.”
Indeed, Mr. Bush’s positions on education and immigration might not sit well with many GOP primary voters, who are typically the most ardent of party activists.
Speaking at a gathering last month of an educational foundation Mr. Bush founded after his tenure as Florida governor, he said he respected those who have weighed in on Common Core but that in his view, “the rigor of the Common Core State Standards must be the new minimum in classrooms.”
Mr. Bush is also a proponent of immigration reform and has said that many illegal immigrants come to the country out of an “act of love” for family members.
Time Magazine also noted that Mr. Paul’s political action committee is already taking out Google search ads on Mr. Bush’s name, including one that includes the text: “We need leaders who will stand against common core.”