AMES, IOWA – After fiery primetime red meat speeches from Ted Cruz and Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal faced a tough challenge as a followup to the dynamic Texas duo at The Family Leadership Summit in Iowa.
But instead of launching into a dramatic speech, Jindal started telling stories about his parents, the American dream, and the birth of his third child on the floor of a bathroom.
The childbirth theme puzzled some members of the media who were present, but the social conservatives, who had already attended nearly 12 hours of the convention, were roaring with laughter.
Jindal spoke rapidly, but his speech soon had the audience hanging on his every word. After telling several jokes about the experience, Jindal turned serious.
Like previous speakers, Jindal spoke briefly about restoring the American dream, securing the border, and restoring the strength of America’s foreign policy.
But his greatest strength was his education reform agenda. His speech was laced with fiery rhetoric against Common Core that played well with the families in the room.
Jindal recently issued an executive order to remove Common Core from the state curriculum, calling it a “violation of federal law” and the Tenth Amendment.
Jindal’s executive order has been challenged by pro-common core activists who have filed a lawsuit against him. But that doesn’t bother Jindal, who is now using his order to drive a principled opposition to the federalized standards.
Aside from the anti-Common Core perspective, Jindal has a positive message on education to share. If you ask him about how that’s changing lives in Louisiana, Jindal has stories about successful families that are sending a kid to a school of their choice, thanks to his education reform program.
Since 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal has sparked presidential buzz in the Republican party. He chose not to run for president in 2012, opting, instead, to endorse Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign. Jindal is now increasing his political profile in primary states and is using his record on education to do so. “I just want the same opportunity for every child in Louisiana, in Iowa, across this entire country to get a great education,” he said simply, denouncing Democrats for getting in the way. “The left doesn’t think we’re smart enough to decide whether or not we want to drink a big gulp or not. They don’t think we’re smart enough to pick the right schools for our children,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, Jindal criticized the federal government for trying to control the curriculum. “Some of the hysteria on the other side – the pro-common core side – shows that this really is about content; this is about curriculum,” he said.
He dismissed arguments that the Common Core was simply about increasing testing standards, and he encouraged parents to pay attention to the issue, which is increasingly gaining attention.