Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on Thursday, May 29, 2014.

Why Common Core Will Haunt Jindal

There's a reason the Louisiana governor is bashing the policy: He used to be for it.

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on Thursday, May 29, 2014.

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans Thursday.

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wants to be clear: He really dislikes Common Core, the educational initiative that seeks to unify certain classroom standards across the country.

At least, he does now.

During his speech Thursday night to the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Jindal couldn't have been more explicit.

"I'm against the Common Core, and I don't want Louisiana to be in the Common Core," he said.

"We've taken a lot of criticism in this state from folks that have criticized me for being against it," he went on.

[READ: The Unshackling of Bobby Jindal]

The room boomed with applause, according to reporters there.

But Jindal's full-throated denouncement of the policy is likely motivated by his past support for it.

He's seen how the conservative base of the party has turned virulently against it over the past year and is making sure they know he's now with them.

That wasn't always the case.

The original policy – adopted by over 40 states – was developed through a collaboration of governors and education leaders that included Jindal, who was described by The Times-Picayune as "a strong supporter of the standards."

"Over the past four years, we’ve already taken steps to meet [our education] goals, including … adopting the Common Core State Standards," Jindal said in early 2012, according to a timeline posted by The Huffington Post.

Jindal expressed reservations about Common Core last fall, as opposition from conservative state lawmakers and tea party members began to mushroom.

[ALSO: Bobby Jindal and the 'Path' Less Taken

He's sharpened his rhetoric against the policy in recent months as he's traveled the country in preparation for a potential presidential bid.

The RLC speech marked his most emphatic – and publicized criticism – of Common Core, likely due to the throng of national reporters in the audience.

But as evidenced by commentator Michelle Malkin, the right won't soon forget who saddled up to Common Core at the start.


That means if Jindal runs for president in 2016, he'll need a pithy, well-rehearsed answer for why he was for it before he was against it.