Jeb Bush: No, I Don't Support a "Federal Mandate" for Common Core

Posted: Aug 10, 2015 4:35 PM

You may recall that presidential candidate and ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke at The RedState Gathering last weekend. Afterwards, however, he sat down exclusively with Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey for an extended interview.

To be sure, this is a fascinating conversation. Why? Partly because it shows the candidate in an entirely different, more intimate setting — and partly because the former governor seemed much more relaxed and jocular than during the debate. (They discussed ice fishing, among other things). So listening to the interview, one gets a much clearer sense of what kind of person he is — and how he interacts with people — than watching cable news television.

I recommend therefore watching all the way through. But since it’s rather long, the following are three (hopefully instructive) excerpts I transcribed that may be of interest.

On Common Core:

EM: “You’re a supporter of Common Core, a national education policy…”

JB: “Hang on, be careful now. I’m for states that have [and] want to take up Common Core standards to voluntarily do it."

EM: "So you’re not for a federal mandate for Common Core?"

JB: “Of course not.”

On Donald Trump:

EM: “I’m not sure if your campaign had a statement about Donald Trump’s remarks last night about Megyn Kelly…”

JB: “…Hillary Clinton is just giddy with excitement when Donald Trump says these things. Megyn Kelly is probably the most professional, talented journalist on cable television — on television — in America today. [And] to denigrate her doesn’t do Mr. Trump much good, but frankly damages the conservative brand. Enough already.”

On his campaign strategy:

EM: “I noticed in your speech, and during the debate, that you seemed to be very careful about really focusing criticism by name on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.”

JB: "Yeah. You got it [laughter]."

EM: "And not everybody has that discipline. But you seem to be very focused in that direction, and just wanted to make sure that that’s a very deliberate choice, and if you think that’s an appropriate model for Republican campaigns in this election cycle."

JB: “Sure, look: There’s 16 people running. So there’s going to be some elbows and knees and pushing around under the boards. This is a contact sport. But we have to be unified at the end of it to win. And I respect everybody that’s running. I don’t start with the premise that people are bad. So first and foremost I got to go share my record and what I believe is important for [showing] my leadership skills. When there’s differences of opinions, fair game. But it shouldn’t be personalized."

Watch the full clip below: