Washington (CNN)Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal took his crusade against the Common Core education standards to Washington on Thursday, boiling down his arguments in conservative terms as he considers a presidential run.
Jindal rails against Common Core
Jindal, a Republican, focused on the "big picture" as he presented the fight against the education standards as an inherently American endeavor aimed at preserving American exceptionalism and preventing what he characterized as government overreach on the scale of Obamacare.
And as he considers entering the ring of candidates vying for his party's nomination, Jindal staked out more than just his position on Common Core, managing to reprise his role as a pot-stirrer on radical Islam and also slamming Republicans he dubbed "Democrat-lite."
"What is the point of a Republican Party that is only going to become a second liberal party in Washington?" Jindal said.
Jindal railed against Common Core for more than 30 minutes, decrying what he called an unconstitutional and elite-driven nationalization of education at a gathering of conservatives and anti-Common Core activists hosted by the American Principles Project.
Though he first supported Common Core, lauding in 2012 standards that "will raise expectations for every child," Jindal has become a prominent and vocal advocate for repealing the standards. I's a battle he is still waging in his own state where he is at odds with Louisiana's education superintendent and embroiled in several lawsuits to pull his state from the program.
"What happens when they stop teaching American exceptionalism to our students? What happens when American history is not the American history you and I learned about, but rather it becomes a history of grievances, of victimhood?" Jindal asked.
Jindal, who was a Rhodes scholar and at a young age quickly ascended the ranks of state government, told reporters after the event that he defines an elite as "somebody who thinks they know how to live our lives better than we do."
Instead, Jindal emphasized the need for local school boards and "moms" to remain in control of their children's education as he touted the courage and activism of mothers around the country who have advocated against the standards.
And parents have a "right to be skeptical" about government overreach that has reached "unprecedented" levels since Obama became president, he said.
"We've seen broken promise after broken promise," Jindal said, referencing specifically Obama's promise that Americans would get to keep their insurance and their doctor when enrolling in Obamacare, which proved untrue in some cases.
Common Core proponents insist the program raises standards while also creating a barometer for education that doesn't stop at state lines, Jindal and other anti-Common Core advocates criticized standards they claim lowered the bar.
But as Jindal condemned the standards, his state's education system continues to lag behind nearly every other state in K-12 achievement, coming in 49th in an annual report by Education Week.
Jindal said he is still weighing whether or not he will run for the White House, but suggested that a governor should be the next president.
"We need somebody from outside of D.C., we need somebody bold willing to make big changes and I'm biased towards governors," Jindal said.
Jindal also refused to attack another potential presidential candidate with a governor's experience: Florida's Jeb Bush, who is a avid supporter of Common Core standards.