Rand Paul Opposes Common Core, Unlike Some Other Presidential Hopefuls


Rand Paul
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was quick to remind Republican voters last week that he is against the Common Core national education standards and always has been. Not all Republican presidential aspirants—cough cough, Jeb Bush—can say the same.

According to CNN.com:

If there's a Republican candidate out there—let's just say there's a hypothetical one that's for Common Core. I'm saying that that hypothetical candidate that's for Common Core probably doesn't have much chance of winning in a Republican primary," the Kentucky Republican told Breitbart.com.

His comments, published Monday, come from an interview last week while Paul was in North Carolina campaigning for Senate hopeful Thom Tillis and Rep. Walter Jones.

Paul didn't mention Bush or any other potential 2016 candidate by name, but the former Florida governor has been a vocal backer of Common Core, a set of national education standards for English and math.

Paul has previously weighed in on his disdain for the program, saying in August that he believes education standards "should be developed locally" and reiterating his wish to eliminate the Department of Education.

"The kids are tested to death, I think, and not necessarily any smarter," he said at a Republican event in Urbandale, Iowa. "Is testing good? Yes, but I would let local people figure that out."

Among possible Republican presidential candidates, Paul is in excellent shape to translate anti-Common Core sentiment into an advantage. Some other potential contenders—like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal—are recent converts to the anti-Common Core cause, and still others—like Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—remain steadfast supporters of the standardization effort.

While Common Core draws heavy support from moderate Republican governors, it is toxic to the conservative base. Intriguingly, it's unpopular among some left-leaning groups—as well as many parents and teachers—giving the anti-standardization movement some bipartisan cred. These factors should bode well for an anti-Common Core candidate in 2016, and Rand Paul is well-suited to be that guy.

More from Reason on Common Core here.