According to The Wall Street Journal, the biggest question gnawing at Republican donors is whether Jeb Bush will run in the next Republican presidential primary.
“Mr. Bush has said he would make up his mind by the end of the year,” states the WSJ. “If he runs, he is poised to sweep significant money off the playing field from big GOP donors whose loyalty to the Bush family dates back decades.”
Despite the Bush pedigree, however, Jeb has a couple of problems that could likely get in the way of a successful run: the Common Core standards and amnesty for illegal immigrants.
As Breitbart News’ Tony Lee reported in October, Bush, a champion of the controversial Common Core academic standards, wrote a letter recently to Iowans, asking them to donate to his Excellence in Education National group, which is a companion group to his education foundation that also advocates for the nationalized standards.
Bush, however, seems to be out of touch with Republican parents. A Gallup poll released in October found 58 percent of GOP parents now hold a negative view of the Common Core standards, an increase from 42 percent in an April poll. Only 19 percent of GOP parents view the standards positively.
“The data suggest that this increase in awareness has led to an increase in negativity,” said Gallup.
And it’s not just “conservatives” Bush must contend with on the subject of the Common Core, but the Republican National Committee itself. In April of 2013, the RNC passed a resolution that referred to Common Core as an “inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children” and announced its rejection of the collection of student data associated with the education initiative.
“Resolved, the 2012 Republican Party Platform specifically states the need to repeal the numerous federal regulations which interfere with State and local control of public schools,” the resolution states, “and therefore, the Republican National Committee rejects this CCSS plan which creates and fits the country with a nationwide straitjacket on academic freedom and achievement.”
Nevertheless, in a recent interview with pro-Common Core Education Next, when asked about how he responds to critics of his steadfast support of the standards, Bush said, “I support high academic standards. Period.”
“The Common Core State Standards are more rigorous standards than the great majority of states had in place previously,” Bush continued. “As Checker Finn once noted, they respect basic skills, mathematical computation, the conventions of the English language, good literature and America’s founding documents.”
No one who supports the Common Core standards, however, including Bush, ever cites independent research that proves the claim that the standards “are more rigorous” than other standards.
The standards were developed by three private organizations in Washington D.C.: the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and progressive education company Achieve Inc. All three organizations were privately funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and none of these groups is accountable to parents, teachers, students, or taxpayers.
There is no official information about who selected the individuals to write the Common Core standards. In addition, none of the writers of the math and English Language Arts standards has ever taught math, English, or reading at the K-12 level. The Standards Development Work Groups did not include any members who were high school English and mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood educators, and state or local school board members.
Additionally, as Breitbart News reported in September, Stanford University mathematician and former member of the Common Core Validation Committee, Dr. James Milgram, rejects the notion that the mathematics standards are “rigorous.” Milgram said, in fact, that, if Common Core is not abandoned, America’s place as a competitor in the technology industry will ultimately be severely undermined.
Another unlikely GOP vote magnet for Bush is his support of amnesty for illegal immigrants. His comment earlier in the year that illegal immigration was “an act of love” garnered substantial criticism from conservative and establishment Republicans alike, including Karl Rove, who described the statement as “inartful,” and Donald Trump, who said Bush’s remarks were “dangerous” and “ridiculous.”
At the end of August, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in a speech to conservative activists that stopping amnesty would be the most important issue in the 2014 midterm elections.
Jeb Bush finds himself an ardent supporter of two major issues that most Republicans oppose. Furthermore, the country possesses a distaste for another political “dynasty” family. After the huge electoral success in the midterms, Republicans need to support candidates who will make success a habit, rather than continue with those who are out of touch with the party’s base.