During an interview with Breitbart News at a North Carolina campaign stop, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul explained his opposition to Common Core:
"I don't think there's really a constitutional role for the federal government in education. So I'm not for a national curriculum," Paul said, adding:
"I think the danger of having one central governmental authority deciding curriculum is what if we get some people who decide we really need to treat Karl Marx fairly, we need to make sure he gets a good writeup in the history and Adam Smith, oh gosh, he was terrible. You can see how once it's nationalized, one person can insert a bias into the curriculum, and it goes everywhere, and then you have to fight it. Should your local school district have to fight Washington, or shouldn't you have to go to a school board member and say, "Should we have that in our textbooks?" So more local control is better. And different parts of the country might choose different curriculums--and North Carolina is more conservative, so my guess is they might have a little bit different curriculum than San Francisco."
While not mentioning Jeb Bush by name, he had a harsh warning for potential 2016 presidential contenders on Common Core
"I don't see Common Core being--if you're for Common Core and you're for a national curriculum, I don't see it being a winning message in a Republican primary," Paul said in an interview backstage at an event where he endorsed Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) for reelection. "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."
Other potential GOP 2016 candidates have supported Common Core also, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who now says he's against it since it has departed from what he says was its original purpose, and Indiana's Gov. Mike Pence, who has tussled with conservative activists over the program. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has backed the program somewhat, issuing an executive order to create a panel to determine the program's effectiveness--a panel that anti-Common Core leaders have heavily criticized.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has also walked a tough line on the education issue, having earlier this year created a commission to "revisit" the Common Core standards, but has since called for the repeal of the standards in his state.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has come out swinging against Common Core, but his embrace of the Senate's "Gang of Eight" immigration bill that granted amnesty to illegal aliens has already taken its toll on him in polls. He has since distanced himself from that immigration bill and actively worked against any efforts to pass his own bill through the House after it passed the Senate.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has come out strong against Common Core, and under his leadership, Texas was one of only five U.S. states to never sign onto the program. That makes Rubio, Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Paul the only likely 2016 presidential candidates who have not waffled on the issue to be seriously vying for the 2016 GOP nomination--a smart battlefield for Paul to seek out and define early.