Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said “commonality of the standards is important” on Common Core and criticized the Iran deal in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel.
Jeb was asked [relevant exchange begins around 4:40] about the criticism he received for his support of Common Core, he stated, “There is a lot of misinformation. People are getting information that may not be how I define Common Core. For me, Common Core standards in Florida are higher standards than what we had before. They were voluntarily created. Not when I was governor by the way, after my governorship. And there’s nothing coercive about it. You can opt out, as some states have. But my advocacy is for higher standards. The commonality of the standards is important. But here’s the problem, about a third to 40% of our kids, after going through a journey where we spend more per student than any country in the world other than two or three tiny countries, are college or career ready. Standards by themselves won’t yield the kind of result we need to be prosperous in our country. But low standards definitely will guarantee we maintain this mediocrity.”
He added, “How I’m not going to deal with it [criticism of Common Core] is by saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to abandon what I believe.’ This is what campaigning should be about, and I think I’ll be able to convince people that high standards with school choice, robust accountability is essential for our survival as a nation and it should be state-driven, and the federal government should encourage the kind of reforms that we had in Florida rather than dictate how it should be done.”
Jeb also commented on the Iran deal, stating that a deal under a Jeb Bush presidency, “would be the deal that the president aspired to when he started negotiations now, what? Six years ago. And that would be prohibiting Iran from having the capability of building a weapon and continuing to destabilize the region, and if we could make sure that Iran is not a nuclear threshold state, we would — that would be a clear objective. Those are faint memories.”
Jeb also commented on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the same-sex marriage, he agreed that while his Catholic faith suggests gay marriage isn’t acceptable, “My faith also suggests that we shouldn’t discriminate against people, because people in long-term relationships should be respected. And I think that tension needs to be resolved the way America always had. My concern about the Supreme Court decision was that it took away that process that is always the time-honored way that we solve problems in our country, and I wish they had decided otherwise, but they haven’t. So, now I think we need to focus on how do we make sure we have an environment of non-discrimination for gay couples and also protect religious liberty and religious conscience? And I believe this great country can do that.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett