At that public appearance, shown below, Smith said pre-K was a waste of money. He said Looney was a typical Democrat, proposing to throw money around. Among other remarks from Smith was an assertion that pre-K just "offset family responsibilities." Maybe, he said, parents just wanted pre-K to get some free time for the day. He unctuously added, "I know working families have to have healthcare and care for their children...but my wife takes care of our granddaughter so our daughter can work. I'm just not comfortable letting someone else raise my granddaughter." When Looney noted research about the value of pre-K, Smith hooted that it was unbelievable because it came from Chicago (the University of Chicago, actually, one of the finest universities in the country).
Smith said parents shouldn't trust a young child to someone they don't know; that schools are burdened enough without pre-K, and that children should not be pulled away from families until at least kindergarten age.
But now, Brandt Smith has seen the light, perhaps in the form of some poll numbers.
UPDATE: A reader sends an ad from Little River County for Republican Rep.DeAnn Vaught, another candidate shamelessly touting support for pre-K while representing a party that intentionally removed pre-K from the party platform.