Last week, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour offered some thoughts on the oft-debated question in Republican platforms: to include abolishing the Department of Education.

“Being for getting rid of the department certainly doesn’t mean you want to get rid of public education,” Barbour, a former Republican National Chairman, said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast last week in Washington, “it means getting rid of a federal intermediary so state and local governments can operate without a giant bureaucracy.”

Emphasizing: “you don’t want people to get the impression you’re against public education,” he said he agreed with restoring the call for abolishing the 33-year-old department to the Republican platform “as long as it’s recognized what the goal is.”