Shifting into general-election mode, GOP gubernatorial candidate
Kashkari noted that the state's schools rank in the bottom nationwide, as does the state's employment rates and level of poverty.
"I'm running for governor because I want to change this. I want to rebuild the middle class, and you do that by making sure young people get a good education and growing the economy so that there are good jobs available so people can work hard and build a good life for themselves," Kashkari told more than 100 worshipers at the Living Gospel Church.
Kashkari, a former U.S. treasury official and banker, noted that former U.S. Secretary of State
The decision – a blow to teachers unions – was lauded by the Obama administration, but top California Democrats, including incumbent Gov.
"Our leaders in Sacramento may be hiding, but the courts are weighing in to say we have to fight for the civil rights of every kid in California, and I want to be a fighter for their rights," he said, as the audience applauded.
Education has long been a focus of the candidate, but on Sunday, there was a clear tonal change compared with the spring, when he was courting GOP voters.
During the primary, Kashkari routinely described himself as a “conservative Republican” and vowed to “get able-bodied people off
On Sunday, Kashkari didn’t note his GOP affiliation, compared his and the president’s life stories favorably and repeatedly noted that he worked for Obama as well as for President
"There is no other country in the world where a brown kid like me, the son of immigrants, gets to go to Washington and work for two presidents. By the way, President Obama would not get elected in Germany or France or China. Only in America," Kashkari said. "But you know what President Obama and I have in common? We both got that good education, and that good education opened the doors. And if you get that good education, nothing can stop you."
The shift is born of necessity: Kashkari is the underdog in his race against Brown, and even if every GOP voter in the state voted for him in November, he would come up short. His only hope is convincing independents and some Democrats to support him – a tall order in a state where Brown's popularity is high.
Kashkari spoke in the simple wood-beam Pentecostal church after the choir joyously welcomed worshipers and congregants offered personal testimonials about their love of the Lord. Kashkari, accompanied by his girlfriend, at one point stood and swayed along with the worshipers, and he donated to the collection basket.
It was the first time Kashkari spoke at the church, but it was his third visit. The other two occurred before his January announcement that he was running for governor, which was noted by Pastor E.A. Jones as he introduced "Brother Kashkari."
Kashkari, who is Hindu and of Indian descent, highlighted his family's immigrant roots.
"I was joking with Pastor Jones before the service, when I walk into a community – an African American community or a Latino community – people look at me and say, 'What is he?'" he said, and the crowd chuckled. He described his parents immigrating from India half a century ago, and sought to tie Indians and African Americans.
“That bond is two great civil rights leaders – Dr.