Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is fast becoming one of the most vocal enemies of the Common Core standards. A potential 2016 presidential candidate, Jindal slammed the controversial education initiative during a speech in Washington, D.C., Thursday, asserting that the standards were created by “the elite in D.C.,” who “think they know better than we do.”
“What happens when we stop teaching American exceptionalism to our students?” Jindal asked at a luncheon sponsored by the conservative American Principles Project. “What happens when the American history they’re taught is not the one you and I were taught but a history of grievances?”
The Washington Post reports that Jindal compared the Common Core to Obamacare, programs that have both been developed by elitist bureaucrats in Washington.
“Local parents, local teachers, local leaders need to make these decisions,” Jindal said during his address. “In our entire history as a country, we’ve never allowed the federal government to make these decisions for us. Now is not the time to start.”
Though Jindal was a supporter of the Common Core in the initiative’s early days, he eventually heard the voices of conservatives regarding the reform’s encroachment by the federal government further into education – an area reserved by the Constitution for the states and local governments.
As time grows closer to the 2016 presidential primary, the Common Core standards have become a defining issue separating constitutional conservatives from mainstream establishment candidates who have the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In his own state, Jindal issued an executive order last week to protect parents and school districts from consequences if they choose to opt out of the Common Core-aligned PARCC assessment.
Jindal said the GOP needs to run a candidate who will champion a strong conservative platform, rather than simply settle for “Democratic-lite.”
Nola.com observed that Jindal took aim at Republican leadership in Congress. “If the whole point of this election was simply to give John Boehner and Mitch McConnell nicer offices, let’s give them back,” Jindal said. “What is the point of having a Republican Party if it’s only going to become a second liberal party?”
Jindal also urged Republicans in Washington to repeal and replace Obamacare, as they promised their conservative base.
“That means all of it,” he said. “That means you have to get rid of all the tax increases, you get rid of all the regulations, all the spending, all of it. And then you start anew and really truly do what Americans want, which is to drive down the cost of health care.”
Jindal said that as he continues to consider a run for the presidency in 2016, he will propose conservative solutions to America’s problems and won’t be timid on social issues. The Louisiana governor said he will be clear that he is pro-life and a believer in marriage between one man and one woman.
“People may not agree with you 100 percent of the time but respect you for being honest 100 percent of time on what you believe in,” Jindal said.