Emmett McGroarty from American Principles Project predicted that Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will oppose Common Core in the 2016 presidential election. He also said that a pro-Common Core Republican nominee would lose to her.
During a panel discussion at CPAC on Thursday, McGroarty said the movement to eliminate the Common Core standards, which dictate what children should should know at each grade level in math and English, is growing very quickly.
If Republicans are unable to unite behind a nominee who opposes Common Core, the vote could be “fractured” and a pro-Common Core Republican would face Hillary Clinton, “who does not really have Common Core baggage” in the general election, said McGroarty.
“And that is going to make the Republican candidate, I think, unelectable at that time because the conservative voters will be disappointed,” he said. “Their turnout will be suppressed and low. I think you’ll have the moderate votes or apolitical votes will vote for the other candidate — for the one who doesn’t have the Common Core baggage.”
Among Republicans rumored to be considering presidential runs, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has been an enthusiastic supporter of Common Core, as has Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has openly mocked those who disagree with him on the issue. Other Republican governors have either changed course on the standards (Mike Pence, Bobby Jindal) or expressed some concerns about the implementation (Chris Christie).
McGroarty described Clinton as “very smart, very shrewd” and said if the eventual Republican nominee supports Common Core in the general election, she will oppose it. “It’ll almost sound like a Republican criticizing it for the decision-making. She’ll criticize it for the heavy-handedness of the federal government. She’ll criticize it because all these leaders signed onto the standards and committed to the standards before they were drafted — on and on and on,” he said. “It will be very embarrassing for the Republican nominee.”
McGroarty said voters will be asking not whether candidates are “against” Common Core, but “are you fighting for change in the federal government that will prevent a travesty like this from ever happening again?”
He said voters want acknowledgement that Common Core is of poor quality and it was forced upon them. “Because if candidates don’t acknowledge that, then they’re not facing the truth and the fear will be that they’re not going to fight this,” he said.
According to McGroarty, people are beginning to realize that the federal government is dictating education decisions.
“So there’s this conversation going on between the federal government, which has the conditional money, so the states look to the federal executive and they are doing what the federal executive wants — they adopt their policies,” he said.That’s how that 10% of the education budget really controls policy, according to McGroarty. “People now realize they’re being cut out…they and their desires and their needs and their children are being cut out of the decision-making and so I think this represents a very profound change in America,” he said. “People are realizing that that division of powers is very personal thing…a very personal concept, meant to protect their rights and their liberties.”