(CNN) – Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal said Thursday he's against Common Core, the academic standards that have many conservatives decrying the program as an overreach of the federal government.
"I'm against the Common Core, and I don't want Louisiana to be in the Common Core,” he said to booming applause at the Republican Leadership Conference - the annual conservative confab, held this year in New Orleans.
Jindal is term-limited as Louisiana governor and is considering launching a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. He's was the first in a series of conservative White House hopefuls to speak at the conference.
Jindal was once for Common Core but recently has said he wants Louisiana, which adopted the standards in 2010, not to participate.
"We've taken a lot of criticism in this state from folks that have criticized me for being against it," Jindal said Thursday.
"Let me be very clear, I'm for standards and I'm for our kids learning and our kids being able to compete but it seems to me that there is something fundamentally wrong when the bureaucrats, when the federal government especially, thinks they know best and they don't need to listen to parents."
Jindal continued in that vein, tying the fight against unified education standards to a broader argument against an overbearing federal government.
"On the left you've got this group that thinks we're not smart enough to buy our own health insurance; we're not smart enough to select our own schools for our children, we're not smart enough; by the way, to exercise our Second Amendment rights; we're not smart enough to decide what size soda we should be drinking, apparently."
Another potential 2016 presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, supports Common Core. He argues the standards help prepare students for college and the workforce. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another GOP possible White House contender, is also in favor of the standards, which apply to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in the subjects of language arts/literacy and math.
His speech followed Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, whose address to the conservative confab kicked off the New Orleans conference.
Texas’ Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz are slated to address the conservative crowd. Notable, however, are the potential 2016-ers who are not attending this year’s confab - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.