Trio of presidential contenders woo evangelicals over home schooling
March 23rd, 2011
05:03 PM ET
12 years ago

Trio of presidential contenders woo evangelicals over home schooling

Washington (CNN) – Christian evangelicals will surely have a major say in who becomes the next Republican presidential nominee.  On Wednesday, a trio of conservative possible presidential contenders courted evangelicals with full-throated support for one group's cause.

The potential presidential candidates are Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and businessman Herman Cain.  At an event in Des Moines, Iowa, all three expressed adamant support for home schooling to a group organized around that issue.

The Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators, a well-organized evangelical group in the state, sponsored the event. The organization aims to curb government interference as parents opt to teach their children at home.  Kay Henderson, News Director for Radio Iowa News, provided audio of the speeches.

Bachmann, mulling a presidential bid, played up her Iowa roots in the state that will hold the first major presidential contest: the Iowa caucus.

"I'm a seventh-generation Iowan…What I love about Iowans is that we're fighters," Bachmann told the crowd.

The congresswoman then turned to the subject at hand.

"My husband and I also home schooled our children for a number of years," Bachmann said, mentioning her five biological children and 23 others she parented through Foster care.

Home schooling is "about freedom," Bachmann added.  "It's about liberty.  It's about knowing our children better than the state knows our children."

Cain echoed a similar theme.

"Get this government out of the way," he told the crowd. "Government is trying to strangle education in America by strangling what you have the right to do."

Cain was the first Republican to establish a presidential exploratory committee and is also considering a White House bid.

It was perhaps Ron Paul, who is also weighing another presidential run, who made the strongest claim about the nation's education system.

"The public school now is a propaganda machine," Paul said.  "They start with our kids even in kindergarten, teaching them about family values, sexual education, gun rights, environmentalism, and they condition them to believe in so much that is totally un-American."

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: Herman Cain • Michele Bachmann • Ron Paul
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Video Guy

    With Michele knowledge of History her kids should be required to retake the exams.

    March 23, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Russ

    Nothing like trying to create a nation of unsocialized, introverted and unworldly Republicans by keeping them locked up in their homes for months on end. Oh, wait we all ready have that and they weren't home schooled.

    March 23, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Ryan

    Awesome, that's all this country needs is a generation of brain stems who believe Jesus rode a dinosaur.

    March 23, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. StarSunBriar

    Republicans straight up hate education. It's weird.

    March 23, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Marcus

    Ron Paul's statement is the sad joke of the day. Why? Because he probably really believes in what he said.

    March 23, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    I have absolutely no problem with these people home schooling without government intervention. If these idiot people want their children to grow up to be idiots who can't compete against my children for jobs in the real world, getting into good schools, earning high pay for careers in sciences and engineering, consulting for other professionals (including politicians) regarding history, mathematics, accounting, etc., contibuting to our dwindling cultural accomplishments as a society, etc. etc. etc., then far be it from me to give a crap. We're always going to have plenty of morons in the populace who vote in stupid stupid ways, so that's not the reason to be concerned either. Home-schoolers can suplpy us with all the gas station attendants, trashmen, bums on the corner, angry picketers at military funerals, etc., that we need to be a balanced society...and the rest of us can keep on trying to produce scientists, geniuses, mathematicians, financiers, attorneys, doctors, etc. No amount of home schooling and refusing to get abortions is going to make these people the majority, so who cares? Let them be our stupids and we'll carry on with business as usual.

    March 23, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Jordan N.

    Talk about a grab-bag of crazy and stupid. So Ron Paul thinks family values, gun rights, sex education, and environmentalism are un-American? I really don't get the right-wing – how did environmental conservation become anathema to conservatism? They both do have the same root, and I recall it was a Republican president (Roosevelt) who really started the environmental movement by creating national parks and making it a national issue.

    March 23, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. steven harnack

    If they don't think that home schooling is brainwashing at its most basic....ah what's the use? These people are so lost in their own universe that logic has no meaning anymore.

    March 23, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. chris

    watch the movie 'Jesus Camp'

    These homeschooling evangelicals are flat out crazy. They don't want their kids in public school because then they would be influenced by comparatively normal kids. Not sure why homeschooling is being tied to religion in this way.

    March 23, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. liberal christian

    Well, if they actually Read the New Testament they will realize Jesus was LIBERAL!
    So why are they Conservative?

    March 23, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Ptown

    crazy bachmann home schooling her kids? thats funny!! She doesnt even know american history...

    March 23, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This woman needs meds, she's just as nuts as Palin. Next she'll be using crosshairs.

    March 23, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. jarhead

    I worked in the welfare system for 10 years. It's amazing how many non-high school grads. think home school is great.

    March 23, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Considering the abysmal job the school system is doing, home-schooling can't help but be an improvement, at least for educated parents, but this has absolutely nothing to do with the ranting of religious nuts like Bachmann.

    And I can't help but think Ron Paul was either misquoted or quoted out of context–he's usually a lot more sensible than the quote attributed to him suggests. Regardless of the details, though, he has a point: The schools do seem to promote a biased, very Liberal, point of view.

    March 23, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Julie C

    Holy cow...these people get more deranged as the days go by! Though entertaining in a "let's look at the train wreck" way, to think that these people honestly believe that caring about the environment is equated to "Un-American" is just so incredibly ignorant. What an embarrassment to America they are!

    March 23, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. gt

    so many pagans among the ticker fans.....sad...

    March 23, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. Dave

    All of the home-schooled individuals I have ever known are dumber than posts – and that's not even taking their "social skills" into account. Now we have Bachmann advocating this ridiculous idea. Do we see any similarities here?

    March 23, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    They are simply advocating keeping their kids indoctrinated into religion, rather than being exposed to non-religious ideology.

    Nothing more dangerous, than religious fanatics.

    March 23, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  19. T'sah from Virginia

    [Christian evangelicals will surely have a major say in who becomes the next Republican presidential nominee.]

    Yep – and that is where it will end because the evangelicals think they are MORE Holier than Thou and Thou makes the decisions!!! The RIGHT is very embarrassing and have NOTHING to offer but the SAME talking points about again – NOTHING!!!

    March 23, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Home Schooling = Social Darwinism Award.

    March 23, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Do schools get tagged as "liberal" because they promote critical thinking? If so, I guess I'm a liberal and proud of it. Is the opposite of liberal to be spoon fed religious dogma and not be able to form your own beliefs? That sounds more like a theocracy to me. Why not move to Iran or one of those countries where education is feared? I'll pack your bags for you, Bachman. America is about freedom...freedom to think and form our own opinions.

    March 23, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  22. GOP = Greed Over People

    "My husband and I also home schooled our children for a number of years," Bachmann said,

    Now that is a scary prospect.

    Not too worry, after all the GOP cuts, all children will have to be home schooled.

    The GOP agenda to assure "America fails" is right on track.

    March 23, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  23. Marge

    You know it is absolutely disgusting to hear these so called Christians spew their trash. Any body in their right mind who even has a wisp of thought that would consider them Christian is worst than people like Bachmann are.

    The are greedy, dishonest, racist hate urging bunch of people who are more like Satanist than Christians. In some places people who worship Satan are not as bad as they are.

    March 23, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Dale

    "Reality has a well-know liberal bias." - Stephen Colbert

    March 23, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. John

    Why are schools labeled "liberal"? Because they promote critical thinking as part of the education process? If so, I guess I'm liberal and proud of it. I suppose the opposite is to push religious dogma on our children so they can develop a narrow myopic view of the world just like their ignorant parents. I suppose that would make them no different than any other theocratic country. Hey, Michelle, what if I help you pack your bags so you can move to Iran where that kind of thinking prevails? Fearing education makes me really wonder about these people.

    March 23, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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