It’s on for 2016: What Rand Paul Said Will be a ‘Big Problem’ for Jeb Bush

It didn’t take long for Jeb Bush to get a taste of what a presidential primary contest could have in store.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the U.S. strategy to defeat the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Hours after the former Florida governor announced he was considering a run for the presidency, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) responded to a question from the Washington Post about Bush’s support for the Common Core education standards.

“I think most conservative Republicans think that education should be more at the local and state level,” Paul said. “So yeah, I think it will be a big problem.”

Paul, who is widely expected to make a White House bid of his own, was conciliatory about Bush’s decision to formally explore a campaign.

“I think the more the merrier,” he said, before seeming to take another shot at Bush’s conservative Republican bonafides.

“I think we’ve got a big party,” Paul said. “I think we have people from all different wings of the party.”

One month before his presidential announcement, Bush re-emphasized his support for the Common Core standards, which are a major Republican sticking point.

Paul has voiced criticism of Common Core.

The K-12 math and English standards were established by National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Though not a federal program, the U.S. Department of Education has made “Race to the Top” grants to states contingent on adopting the standards.

Other potential GOP contenders are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has sued the U.S. Department of Education over Common Core; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has a panel reviewing the standards; and Indian Gov. Mike Pence, who was the first governor in the nation to sign a repeal of Common Core in his state.