Huckabee’s Never Ending Common Core PR Nightmare

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told Breitbart News that his name was being used by a pro-Common Core group without his permission.

A Political Action Committee called Alliance for Better Classrooms launched an initiative in Louisiana called “Unicorns Are Not Real.”  They offered a list of people who supported Common Core.

Huckabee was on that list, Jeb Bush is on that list, and my governor, Terry Branstad, was on the list as well.  The problem with such a list is that makes people believe that those on it also approve with the methods that are being used to advocate for it.  Namely, mocking those who oppose Common Core.

Governor Branstad’s office told me yesterday that they were not asked and they are not affiliated with this group.  Huckabee said the same:

A pro-Common Core group is using my name without permission and attributing ideas to me that are wholly untrue. I have stated many times over that I oppose Common Core and anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed or not telling the truth. I believe education is a family function, not a federal function – period.

Nothing is more emblematic of Washington arrogance and reckless central planning than Common Core. The federal government has stuck its obtrusive nose into local education and hijacked the system. We must kill Common Core and restore common sense.

Yes he has said many times he opposes Common Core, but as recently as 2013 he urged Oklahoma lawmakers to stick with Common Core as they considered the state’s eventual repeal.  He also said in his book Simple Government that Race to the Top (which helped to thrust Common Core onto states and brought the Federal government into the mix) was a “good idea.”

So he has to understand that while he has indicated a change of heart over the last year, those of us who have been fighting Common Core since 2010 are looking at his entire record.

Also there are tweets like the one he sent yesterday:

Tweets like this frustrate me.  Common Core has not degenerated into a disaster.  It has always been a disaster.  It just now has bad PR.  Huckabee during a press conference in Iowa said that he is referring to the American Diploma Project when he said he liked Common Core initially.  That is not what Oklahoma lawmakers were fighting, however, in 2013. Common Core has its roots with the ADP sure, but the ADP compilation of state standards was not the final product.  That is not what Race to the Top brought into the states.

Common Core represents national, top-down standards.  Huckabee is on record saying he supported them.  So this PR nightmare is of his own making, and he still needs to explain the letter to Oklahoma lawmakers and his past support of Race to the Top.

Shane Vander Hart is the online communications manager for American Principles in Action, a frequent contributor to TruthInAmericanEducation.com, and the editor of Iowa-based CaffeinatedThoughts.com.