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. Moe NY

    Separation of church and state at all costs. These religious zealots are truly a nightmare that normal people are being forced to deal with. Whatever religion people practice....keep it out of politics.....religion should be a personal matter, not a political matter. Stop trying to convert America (and other countries) to your religious beliefs. If you want to home school your children, fine...go ahead and do it, but leave the rest of us Americans alone. Besides you still have to deal with government the government just going to take your word for it that your children are truly educated, or will your children have to pass some type of educational standard testing? If not, they should.

    March 23, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. 16halo

    If they want home schooling, who's stopping them, but they want the government to pay for it to get around the issue of the separation of church and state, use goverment money to fund their religious doctrine and belief. That's fine as long as all religions, beliefs, ideas of spirituality have access to the same dollars. We should have both a public and home schooling.

    March 23, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Andrew

    What is wrong with these people? Christians homeschooling their children... what is their emphasis on physics, chemistry, biology, evolution? They may not like to live in the real world, but Chinese, Brazilian and Indian kids do. These countries are investing heavily in education – Education run by the their federal governments. According to their growth rates, It won't be long until these countries rise to our levels of education, living standards, security, etc... What are we going to do then? According to these conservative, unintelligent representatives of the people we must stop federal education because it infringes on our liberties. Are you kidding me? The liberty to be stupid and uneducated? The liberty to not know facts that may make you smarter and thus change your vote? No wonder colleges graduates tend to vote for the democrats.

    March 23, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. T

    What is this country becoming............[Christian evangelicals) wild the GOP has no value and this does not say anything..... to me..
    Only GOD knows what in one heart......text book Michele fruit loop home school, make you wonder come on US this is a joke,

    March 23, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Oregon Calling

    Home Schooling = No Child Being Protected From ................

    Peace 🙂

    March 23, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Bamaborn

    This is a classic case of the blind leading the blind.

    March 23, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. OneMoreTime

    Sniffit is right, as always. I was just wondering if all of the programs the Pubs/Teas want to cut are actually cut,
    then we won't need Congress, because there would be nothing for them to gripe about. We could all just
    stay home, teach our children (unless of course you have a job), that's OK, just put them on the street and let
    your neighbors handle it. Congress wouldn't have to deal with health care, the environment, the military (they can
    lead themselves), on and on. So we wouldn't have to pay them, they could go home and do something really
    worth while. The mayors could run our towns, and they could then be the State legislators.
    No dealing with other Countries, no import/export business for them to sell off to the highest bidder, the military can
    declare war. No President, no Congress, no corrupt Governors. Sound stupid? That's what I'm hearing from
    these people from Mars.

    March 23, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Stephen

    I've never met an intelligent, rational person who was home schooled, only religious nuts and people whose parents were scared they might learn about condoms.

    March 23, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Mike in Sioux Falls

    I am truly amazed at Obama's duplicity. People clearly misunderstand his ruthlessness. He not only infiltrated the GOP and Tea Baggers but his sleeper agents are actually running Republican campaigns. A stroke of brilliance! Hare-brained quasi-candidates not only parading their stupidity publicly but sending the savvy, bigoted and hypocritical established Republican Obama-haters cringing behind their bank and oil lobbyists wondering what idiotic comment will be spewed tomorrow.
    You gotta love it. Obama in 2012.

    March 23, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. BKP

    Isn't "Home-Schooling" an oxymoron? Like "almost exactly" or "freezer burn" I doubt most of the home schooled even know what an oxymoron is, let alone spell it. However, I'd be willing to be bet that they would know "risen from the dead" or "walking on water"

    March 23, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. Harry

    It's hard to believe evangelicals can be so stupid.

    March 23, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. Howard

    Nothing wrong with homeschooling as long as the parents are qualified i.e. minimum of a MASTERS degree in education and at least a B.S. in a primary science field. Also the internet can support any additional fields they lack sufficiant knowledge in.
    Religious fanatics homeschooling their kids is fine with me too, at least you can blame the parents in this case and not blame any civil servant for your own kid's failure.
    I'm pretty sure Ron Paul was misquoted – he is not that ignorant.

    March 23, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. Sue

    Whos says the Anti Christ is going to be a man.......I think Palinor this bafoon (Bachmann) could possibly be the Anti Christ......Mean, Hateful, and filled with venoum...

    March 23, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. osage

    I guess these are the people that cause the great USA to slip down the slope to meet up with the under developed countries

    March 23, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    if half of these so-called Born again Christians actually practiced what Christ taught there would not be so must lack of diversity nor tolerence amongst them. And trust me there ARE some BA Christians that DO practice what they preach. But if this group is going to back somebody like Newt Gingrich for example I would have to question what bible they are reading. I know it says to forgive but even Jesus destroyed a fig tree because it would bare no fruit.

    March 23, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Penobscot

    Evangelicals are nuts. Too bad the republican party has been taken over by them...

    March 23, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. Bill Graham in Jacksonville, FL

    From my limited perspective, it would appear that most parents are incapable of teaching everything their children need to know through the end of high school. I feel comfortable saying that because most parents don't know a lot about every possible topic. In fact, most parents have expertise in two or maybe three areas and that's it. Moreover, many parents probably didn't take courses such as calculus, physics or chemistry recently if they ever did. For that reason, I think I can safely assume they would need to brush up on and master these topics well before attempting to teach them to their children. It's not enough to teach out of a method book. One has to be able to help students when they need it. Finally, all children are different. One size does not fit all. Most parents can't possibly anticipate what their children will want to become, and it will change over time even if they think they know. Consequently, if you're a homeschooler who has never picked up an instrument, how will you educate a budding musician? By sending him or her off to a private instructor? That's where you're wrong. At best, a private instructor can teach your child how to play an instrument or perhaps share some insights on music theory. Systematic, daily instruction is very different and it's not cost effective to purchase the services of a music tutor. Oh, and one other thing you have to look out for is quacks who claim to be experts, but know nothing of value. In the school system, they have to prove it with a degree and certification, and then they have to interview to get hired. Those are some thoughts from a guy who wouldn't even think about educating his children other than to teach them about balancing a checkbook, changing oil in the car or giving general advice. By the way, my wife teachers chemistry at the college level.

    March 23, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. Darth Vadik, CA

    Republican motto...

    Teachers = BAD
    Education = BAD
    Nurses = BAD
    Cops = BAD
    NYC Firefighters = BAD (for wanting benefits after 911)
    Jesus Healing the Sick = BAD (those darn people think they had entitlements)

    Greed = GOOD
    Guns = GOOD
    Faith over Fact = GOOD
    Ignorance = GOOD
    Fox News (Liars) = GOOD
    Koch brothers = GOOD

    This folks is a product of home and religious it and weep (for real), because it is embarrassing for this to have happened in a industrialized country in 2011...

    March 23, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. Product of a Christian Home School

    I was homeschooled for 6th – 9th grades in a devout evangelical christian. Why? Because my parents we're so afraid the liberals and secularists of the public education system would warp my mind. What did I get instead? A mind warp by the religious right. Biology was replaced by Creationism, History by Bible study, and Civics by handing out anti-abortion pamphlets. The result? Mixed. I was able to pursue interests that I wouldn't have been able to in the public education realm such as teaching myself HTML at 12 years of age and ornithology, but I'm horrible at math (because my mother was too).

    What do I do for a living now? High school teacher. Public high school teacher. Long live public education!

    March 23, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. 21k

    the gop leadership needs tools to keep their base stupid, and home-schooling is one of them. otherwise, the red-state folks would realize just how badly they are being manipulated thru religion and guns by the top 1% , who wouldn't lend a hand to jesus if he were around today.

    March 23, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. se

    If this is the case, churches' tax-exempt status needs to be revoked, swiftly and fiercely.

    March 23, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. The Greedy Old Pigs declared war on YOU!

    While some home-schooled kids do fine, others fare poorly, mostly because of bad parent-teachers.

    March 23, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  23. they call me "tater salad"

    They want people to be stupid so they can count on their votes in the future!.......Only idiots vote Republican and nobody knows that better than Republicans!...........Whatever works,....... right?

    March 23, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  24. Liz the First

    Just what we need, a bunch of mini-medrassas pumping out fanatical idiots. i hope the people whose brains haven't already been sucked out by Faux News and the like wake up and see the repugs are waging wholescale war on education and intelligence in this country. why? because it's the uneducated morons who vote for them. it's part of their war on the middle class. their vision for this country is a ruling class of robber barons and the rest of us slaving for them without unions, education, or the right to vote them out of power. wake up, America. is that the future you want for your kids???

    March 23, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. Liz the First

    Hey, GT, I'M Pagan and there's nothing sad about it.we love God as much as anyone, we just don't fall for all the fundy crap or the idea that education is somehow evil.

    March 23, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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