Jindal, who has been hitting the national political circuit and talk shows by attacking the current administration on many issues, continued discussing these themes Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC.
Jindal opened his speech slapping at Obama by comparing the two Democratic presidents.
"I want to issue a sincere apology to President Carter," Jindal said, calling Obama the "worst president in my lifetime."
The national publications, such as Politico, Huffington Post, and others, highlighted that punchy comment in their summaries of the governor’s address. So did many others.
However, in my view, the big story today is not what Jindal said but, again, what he failed to say.
Only a few weeks ago, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Gov. Jindal made national news when he spoke about religious liberties and how the liberals and the left are destroying those sacred freedoms.
In today’s speech, Jindal focused upon two major issues: the Obama administration holding back Jindal’s education reform and its attack upon religious freedoms.
According to various news accounts, education and religious liberties are the two themes that Jindal wants to emphasize as he attempts to create a national image acceptable to social conservatives.
The governor went out of his way to praise the very popular Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, a major conservative icon, especially after the recent reality TV show controversy. Robertson was slammed by gay groups, blacks, and others for the comments he made during a magazine interview.
Jindal seized the opportunity and made headlines when he took up for Robertson and Duck Dynasty, which is filmed in Louisiana. He has continued to give that support during recent speeches.
"We must not let [the left] silence the Robertsons," Jindal said to CPAC.
Whenever possible, Jindal has mentioned his support for Robertson--as if the governor was donning the courageous badge of honor.
However, one of the badges he has obviously ignored in his speeches and public statements deals with a more recent and relevant issue, given his position as a national policy-maker and presidential hopeful.
Once again, although he has had various opportunities to bring up the topic, Jindal has punted.
Not a single word or phrase has come out of his lips concerning Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision last week to veto legislation that has been in the center of a boiling political cauldron. And yes, the topic is apparently one he knows much about and is willing to discuss as often as possible, under favorable circumstances-- religious rights versus the gay and other rights.
You would surely think that Jan Brewer’s veto of a law allowing businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians would be top of mind not only to the Louisiana governor, but also to the American public who might want to know how he stands on all of the major controversies involving his new pet topic--religion and government.
This Arizona legislation rocked the nation. It didn’t just involve supporting a popular television superstar who has wide and deep support among conservatives. Instead, the events of last week concerned a Republican governor of a state who made a decision regarding legislation passed by the state’s legislative body that has engendered fiery emotions and debate.
Those events last week were not simply weird off-the-wall slurs by a national figure with a long beard who believes blacks were happy they were slaves.
Brewer encountered tremendous pressure from many in the corporate communities and business leaders. It was even reported that the NFL entered the political arena over this Arizona bill and was willing to pull out its upcoming Super Bowl from Phoenix if the legislation had not been vetoed.
Brewer dealt with a real and important issue impacting our lives, one that virtually all governors, and certainly presidents, too, will tackle in some way one day.
Moreover, Jindal wants the nation to believe that he has the courage to take on the President of the United States when others are unwilling to do so. He has regaled over the positive exposure he received from Fox News and elsewhere when he publicly torched Obama last week at the White House. While the other Democratic and Republican governors held their respective tongues to show some type of commonality and civility, Jindal refused to do so. The cameras were running; the opportunity was ripe. He spoke up among the meek and claimed that the President was waving the cowardly white flag. When criticized by a Democratic governor, Jindal retook the microphone and “bravely” countered, “If that's the most partisan thing he's heard all weekend, I want to make sure he hears a more partisan statement.”
Just the kind of words his hoped-for future anti-Obama constituents would want to hear as they weigh their future presidential candidates.
Some might say that it would be politically unwise to broach an issue that could scare the willies out of many future possible Jindal supporters and the coveted business community. While religious freedom is honored in America, many in those communities felt that the Arizona law went beyond the discussion of religious rights, was bigoted and hateful.
Politically, bringing up that legislation in the context of his discussion of religion and politics probably would not have been too prudent.
But it surely would have been transparent and courageous.
Beating up a president of another party who has been out of office for the 34 years and vilifying a current unpopular president does make snappy national headlines. Addressing a powerful political group about the emotional topic of religious liberties might not get the approvals and chuckles that Obama, Carter, and Duck Dynasty would engender.
Governor Jindal taking a stand about a controversial gubernatorial decision made by a fellow governor would have been quite illuminative and informational.
It also would have been most educational, coming from a politician who wears a badge of religious rights on his sleeves.
If anything, it would have shown if Jindal can be the policy maker and national top voice he strives to be, or if he is simply another talented power-seeker throwing political scraps to an already hungry pack of wolves.
Bayoubuzz Note: Below was emailed today from the Jindal administration to its mailing list. This publication has requested the full transcript but has not received it. The column will be updated should we receive the transcript.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Gov. Jindal: President Obama is the Most Liberal and Incompetent President in My Lifetime
Governor Bobby Jindal
March 6, 2014
Watch The Full Speech Here: www.youtube.com
Governor Jindal: “ …
I have spent all of 2012 going around the country saying that President Obama was the most liberal and most incompetent president in my lifetime time ever since Jimmy Carter.
The President of Russia invades neighboring countries, while our President wants to downsize our military, while our President brags about the increase spending on food stamps.
We have long thought and said that this president is a smart man. It may be time to revisit that assumption.
To President Carter, I want to issue a sincere apology. It is no longer fair to say that he was the worst president of this great country, in my lifetime. President Obama has proven me wrong.
We’ve also got Eric Holder and the Department of Justice trying to stand in the schoolhouse door to prevent minority kids, low income kids, kids that haven't had access to a great education, the chance to go to a better school.
I have got a message for Eric Holder and the President. We are going to fight them every step of the way even to the United State Supreme Court to defend these children's rights.
And yet it is amazing to me what we have seen in this lifetime. In these last few years. And its not just a government so big that they can take away educational choice, we’ve also got a government so big that is now infringing on our religious liberties and our religious freedoms.
Make no mistake about it; their assault on religious liberties is also an assault on the freedom of speech, the freedom of association and other rights that were so important to the founding of this country.
This country didn't create religious liberty and freedom. Religious liberty and freedom created this great country."