Trump’s Leading VP Candidates Are Not Strong on Common Core and Fed Ed

Donald Trump is set to announce his vice-presidential choice sometime this week, before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland begins on Monday.

Despite occasional stumbles, such as identifying education as one of the core functions of the federal government and his dizzying policy switches, Trump has been relatively stable in opposing Common Core and claiming he wants to “make education local.” Although he has no record in public-education policy, he would be more likely than Hillary “It Takes a Village” Clinton to decrease the federal role in education.

But some of the major contenders for the VP slot do have public records — and those records are concerning. Here is a brief review of the commonly discussed names in order of the amount of media buzz they are receiving at The Pulse 2016, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post:

1.) Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

Gingrich served as Speaker while the Clintons, Marc Tucker, and others were laying the foundation for the “seamless web” of centralized education and workforce that undergirded No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Common Core. (See the following diagram created by former congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Mike Chapman and distributed by Education Liberty Watch’s predecessor organization EdWatch.)

To his credit, before he became Speaker, Gingrich voted against Goals 2000, which implemented the mental health and preschool pieces of the FedEd puzzle, and School to Work. These bills implemented Marc Tucker’s infamous vision explained in his letter to Hillary Clinton in 1992. Continue Reading

Who Will Be Trump’s VP? Here Are His Five Most Likely Choices

With the GOP convention less than two weeks away, the media is buzzing with news and rumors about who Donald Trump may pick to be his running mate.

Dozens of names have been mentioned, from sitting governors and members of Congress to retired politicians and even political outsiders. Cutting through some of the speculation, however, here are Trump’s five most likely options.

Newt Gingrich

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Gingrich, who served as Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, is well-known in conservative circles for his nearly encyclopedic knowledge of political history. Though he has, at times, been criticized as too ambitious, Gingrich is seen by many as a strong, principled conservative with elder statesman status in the party.

His time in the House and on the campaign trail in 2012 would bring an element of experience sorely missing from the Trump campaign. Writing for Time, David Lane argued that “Selecting Gingrich as Veep would send a message worldwide—that Trump is bringing ‘adults’ to the table with the intention to make America great again.”

In many ways, Gingrich’s “Republican revolution” in the ‘90s resembled Trump’s program, albeit in a more refined form. Gingrich, like Trump, was interested more in winning over discontented Democrats than in strict observance of conservative orthodoxies.

In a column this week, Jonah Goldberg argued that “Gingrich could complement Trump; he could be like the walking explanatory footnote to Trump’s every outburst.” Gingrich could provide a rhetorical defense of Trump’s platform and statements, thus elevating the tone of the campaign in some sense. Continue Reading