Rick Perry Makes Common Core a Campaign Issue in North Carolina

Rick Perry in Altoona, IA.
Rick Perry in Altoona, IA.

Texas Governor Rick Perry was in North Carolina stumping for North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis the Republican running against U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC).

The News Observer reports:

Perry also had high praise for Tillis, the marquee candidate at the rally.

“He will go to Washington, D.C., and do everything he can to dismantle Obamacare,” Perry said. “He will say no to things like Common Core. He will say no to things like Race to the Top.”

What’s interesting is that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory was there and he’s been a supporter of Common Core, but reluctantly signed the Tarheel State’s repeal and replace bill and his appointments to the commission that is reviewing North Carolina’s standards is, ahem, suspect.  Indiana Governor Mike Pence must be his role model.

Common Core is not an issue that Rick Perry will shy away from.  Recently in Iowa he told me what he thought of the standards.

It’s a 10th Amendment issue.  If you want Washington, if you want to implement their standards, that’s your call.  In Texas we had higher standards.  We had higher standards than No Child Left Behind.  We certainly had higher standards than (Common Core) so it was a very easy decision for Texans, myself and the Legislature included, to basically say we still believe that Texans know how to best run Texas.  That the Texas Legislature, that the Texas School Boards, the Texas teachers, we collectively know best how to educate our children rather than some bureaucrat in Washington.

Anyway, I’m sure that was an awkweird moment for him… May he have even more in the future.

You may recall that Tillis last month had an awkward with Jeb Bush who joined him on the campaign trail.  Jonathan Martin reported at the New York Times.

On the Common Core, the educational standards first devised by a bipartisan group of governors, which have become deeply unpopular among conservative activists, Mr. Tillis also sounded far more conservative than Mr. Bush. The North Carolina House approved the standards in 2011, but, facing primary challengers from the right earlier this year, Mr. Tillis backed away from them.

“I’m not willing to settle just for a national standard if we think we can find things to set a new standard and a best practice,” Mr. Tillis said, pivoting to an attack on the federal Education Department as “a bureaucracy of 5,000 people in Washington” who make an average salary of a little more than $100,000.

While criticizing the Education Department is common among Republicans, Mr. Tillis was standing next to the younger brother of President George W. Bush, whose signature accomplishments include No Child Left Behind, the sweeping federal education law run by the department.

Mr. Bush sensed the need to play down any differences and returned to the microphone. “We can argue about what to call these things,” he said, but maintained that the focus ought to be on ensuring high standards.