Perry hits Romney on 'Race to the Top' -- but also Jeb Bush
Rick Perry today spread a web video accusing Mitt Romney of taking two sides on a centerpiece of Barack Obama's education policy, Race to the Top. The issue came up in Thursday's debate in Orlando and Romney distanced himself from earlier comments, made a few days earlier in Miami. But in attacking Romney, Perry is by extension taking a shot at Jeb Bush, who has praised Obama's initiatives.
"Being in favor of the Obama Race to the Top ... that is not conservative," Perry said in the debate, a line echoed in the web ad. The Washington Post notes that Perry selectively edited out the end of Romney's remarks, where he says "but for me, get that back to the state level."
Bush told the Buzz: "Leaving aside the idea of whether the federal government should be spending money it doesn't have, I would rather have the feds be funding reforms in the teacher profession, strong testing and assessments, and school choice (sadly not private school choice) than funding the status quo. States were not obligated to do anything. They could compete for the money or not. It is not intrusive federal policy. The focus should be on rising student achievement. Reform will make that more likely."
UPDATE: The Romney campaign provides his full quote on Race to the top, saying it shows "Romney supports some of the overall goals of “Race to the Top,” but not the fact that Obama wants to make it a federal program. Here's the full quote from Romney last week in Miami: “But the real answer for me on education is get it back to the states. Get information to the states. Encourage with incentives programs that work like school choice. You know, I think Secretary Duncan has done some good things. He’s the current Secretary of Education. I hope that’s not heresy in the room. He for instance has a program called Race to the Top which encourages schools to have more choice, more testing of kids, more evaluation of teachers. Those are things I think make sense. For me, get that back to the state level.”