Monday, 29 June 2015 16:29

Response to presidential candidate Bobby Jindal's interview with Chuck Todd

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jindal-chuck-toddLouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, now candidate for President of the United States, has become a frequent guest on talk TV.  On Sunday, he was featured on Meet The Press, the weekend after he officially announced his candidacy and days after perhaps two of the most explosive Supreme Court decisions were decided—a ruling favorable to Obamacare and another legalizing Same Sex Marriage across the nation. 



  •          Gov. Jindal: “I think the Court shouldn't have ignored the Tenth Amendment.  Here's where the next fight's going.  I think the left is now going to go after our First Amendment rights.” VIDEO:

Here are my responses (in italics) to the most recent Jindal’s interview, point-by-point.  If you agree or disagree, respond in the Facebook box below


Mommy and Daddy have been thinking and talking a lot about this.  And we have decided we are going to be running for president. Maybe if you'll get a chance, if you behave, to go back to Iowa; would you like that?


Giving the politically correct answer there about the state of Iowa, that was Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's somewhat unconventional announcement video from earlier this week, where he broke the news to his children that he was running for president.  We've also learned that New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, will jump into the race for the Republican nomination on Tuesday.

And that now takes the number of declared major Republican candidates to 14.  Interestingly, Jindal and Christie do have something in common.  They're both one-time rising stars of the party who are getting hit hard in their own states.  And they'll both be hoping somehow to turn the problems in their backyards into advantages to show that they have the conviction to lead even if unpopular on the national stage.  I'm joined now by the governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal.  Welcome back to Meet the Press, Governor.


Chuck, thank you for having me.  Of course my kids love Iowa.  If they don't love Iowa, they went to the Iowa State Fair, they had a deep-fried candy bar.  Who wouldn't love that?


There you go.  Pander, pander, pander away.  Let me start with this.  Put up this map here.  Just one state in the Union has not issued any marriage license since the court ruling on Friday.  And it is your state in Louisiana.  Even there's been some in some counties in Mississippi, some in Texas.  Can you explain why your state hasn't implemented the law yet?


Sure.  Chuck, look, I strongly disagree with the court's ruling.  According to Chief Justice Roberts, they weren't even reading, this has nothing to do with the Constitution.  But of course we're going to comply with the court order.  We don't have a choice.  Our agencies will comply with the court order.

We were in a situation where we actually had it in our state constitution that marriage is between a man and a woman, a local federal judge actually upheld that.  It was upheld.  We are now waiting for the Fifth Circuit to reverse that ruling.  They'll implement the Supreme Court's order.  We've got no choice to comply, even though I think this order, I think this decision was the wrong one.


So how quickly do you think you'll end up complying with the law?


Well, look, it'll be up to the court.  As soon as they issue their ruling, I suspect it will be a matter of days.  I don't know how quickly they will move.


All right.


But Chuck, look, I do support, I know there are efforts in Congress to restore our Tenth Amendment rights in response to this ruling, especially when it comes to marriage.  I think the court shouldn't have ignored the Tenth Amendment.  Here's where the next fight's going.  I think the left is now going to go after our First Amendment rights.

I think it is wrong for the federal government to force Christian individuals, businesses, pastors, churches to participate in wedding ceremonies that violate our sincerely held religious beliefs.  We have to stand up and fight for religious liberty.  That's where this fight is going.  The left wants to silence us, Hillary Clinton wants to silence us, we're not going away.


Well, I want to get you to respond, because you bring up a couple of debate points here that are familiar.  But first, I want you to respond to this.  This is from Ric Grenell, he's a long-time conservative foreign policy voice, worked in the Bush administration.

And he makes a conservative case for same-sex marriage, writing this on, "The debate on marriage within the Republican Party has been hijacked by those who wish to dictate their beliefs onto others.  The only true conservative position, the individual right of marriage for all has been affirmed by the Supreme Court.  It's time for consistent conservatives to come out in favor of the court's ruling."  That's a conservative argument for same-sex marriage.  Why do you believe he's wrong?


Well, look, I think he's wrong, I think Hillary Clinton, I think President Obama's wrong.  Chuck, look, all your viewers know that both the president and Hillary evolve their views because of opinion polls.  They can read opinion polls just like the Supreme Court.  My view of marriage is based on my Christian faith.  No earthly court's decision is going to change that.

I think marriage is between a man and a woman.  Now look, I think we're all created equal in God's eyes, I think we need to respect and love those we disagree with.  I think we can have religious liberty without discrimination.  My views on marriage aren't evolving with the polls.  I can read polls just like the president can.  It's based on my faith, I think it should remain between a man and a woman.

Interestingly, Jindal really did not explain why Grenell was wrong but instead launched into a political attack upon Obama and Clinton. Jindal claims we can have religious liberty without discrimination, but, claiming you are not discriminating does not make it so.  Those who feel discriminated upon feel such, just as those who feel their religious liberties are being denied, feel so. 

As far as reading polls and evolving, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is not above reading polls and changing his position on issues.  Common Core is a prime example where he was for a policy until he started to learn it was unpopular with the population he has attempted to attract. 


Now, the issue of religion and faith was used in the '60s during the debate about interracial marriage.  None other than former president Harry Truman, here's The New York Times from September 12th, 1963, the headline:  "Truman Opposes Biracial Marriage," and here is his reasoning, governor.  “He said that racial intermarriage ran counter to teachings of the Bible.”  So are you comfortable using religion as a way to defend your position on marriage?


Chuck, I am.  Look, I think it's offensive to evangelical Christians, to Catholics that are trying to follow their church's teachings, and millions of other Americans who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.  It has been taught in our faith for centuries.  It was just a few years ago the position held by President Obama and Secretary Clinton.

It might be an offense to Christians and others who hold on to a belief whether it is based upon religion, or not.  But, it was also offensive to many people, Christians and non-christians in the past who held on to the religious belief that blacks are inferior to whites, that the races should not mix in business, education and in marriage.

This wasn't just a Republican position.  So I think it's offensive to try to equate the two.  I'm glad that America has moved towards a much better view on race relations.  I've said we need to stop viewing ourselves as hyphenated Americans, we're not African Americans or Indian Americans, we're all Americans.  I think viewing people by the color of their skin is one of the dumbest ways to view people.

I've written that, I have said that.  So I think it's offensive to equate evangelical Christians, Catholics, others that view marriage as between a man and a woman, as being racist.  We're not racist.  We love our fellow man, we think we're all equal under God's eyes, we simply believe that marriage, we don't believe we should change the definition of marriage simply because of opinion polls or because of a court that quite frankly isn't looking at the constitution.

If viewing people by the color of their skin is one of the dumbest ways to view people, because it involves genetic or ethnic traits, then, wouldn’t viewing people by immutable characteristics such as genetics, even dumber?

Also, when did Jindal suddenly become so anxious in removing hyphens from Americanism.  Jindal often spoke about his being an Indian-American when he wanted campaign money and support.     

Earlier this week, Scalia says that words no longer have meaning in an Obamacare decision.  So you can have a court that's not reading the Constitution, not reading the dictionary.  Why couldn't the court have said, "We're going to respect the decisions made by the states"?  Why not say, "We're going to defer to the elected representatives of the people"?

The same argument regarding deferring to the states and the elected representatives of the states were made often and stridently in the fifties and sixties.  How would the United States have evolved into a nation where hyphenated Americans are no longer an issue unless the conservative Court utilized the power of the 14th amendment to make it so.


I want to go to the launch of your campaign.  You don't start out at least at home, it's not like you're getting a good favorite-son send-off.  Here's your job approval rating in the most recent polls, Southern Media and Opinion Research, sitting at 32%.  That was actually lower than President Obama's job rating in the state of Louisiana.

And then I put a summary together of what has been Republican criticism of your tenure as governor.  Jennifer Rubin, conservative columnist in The Washington Post says, "You suffer from awkward over-eagerness."  A Republican state representative, Chris Broadwater says that he's concerned that your campaign doesn't reflect who you really are.

Eric Erickson, an influential movement conservative wrote this about one of your appearances, that you throw rhetorical bombs simply to get noticed.  Ramesh Ponnuru of The National Review called one of your plans, your health care plan, simply would cause millions to lose coverage, you don't deal with that.  Former Republican Governor Buddy Roemer says, "When it comes to Baton Rouge, you've gone AWOL."  What's happened here?  Why do so many Republicans seem concerned, critical of your tenure as governor and of your launch here on the national stage?


Well, Chuck, two things.  If I were afraid of polls, I never would've been elected in two landslide elections, leading a highest percentage in our state's last election for governor.  If I were afraid of polls, we wouldn't have privatized our charity hospital system, we wouldn't cut our state budget 26%, wouldn't have cut over 30,000 state government bureaucrats, wouldn't have done statewide school choice.

Jindal wants to cite polls when it is to his advantage and ignore the importance of polls when those numbers are clearly to his disadvantage.

Throughout Jindal’s two terms in office, he has been criticizing President Obama for not listening to the American people whether it was for healthcare reform, the stimulus or bailouts.  When it comes to polls, why would his not listening to the people of Louisiana on numerous issues be any different than Obama not listening to the American people?  

Also, school in out on whether these "reforms" have been and will be successful.  Jindal was sworn into office with Louisiana floating in a $800M to $1B  surplus.  This year, Louisiana passed a budget only after raising taxes on businesses by over $700M.  It is currently forecasted by many that each year, for the next five years, Louisiana will be running deficits in the amounts of $1B to 2B dollars, while the states healthcare services have declined. 

Here's the real record.  In Louisiana, we've got more people working than ever before, earning a higher income than ever before.  We're a top-ten state for private-sector job creation.  Chuck, when you do that, you're going to make the big government people unhappy.  We've upset the apple cart, we've taken on the status quo, we've made big changes.

Secondly, I've said in my campaign, I want to run a campaign where we embrace our principles, establishment Republicans don't want us to do that.  Jeb Bush says, "We've got to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general election."  I strongly disagree with that.

Let me translate that for you.  What some of those Republicans are saying, what Jeb Bush is saying is we've got to hide who we are.  Nonsense.  We don't just need to send a Republican to D.C., we need to send somebody who will take on the conventional wisdom.  Republicans in D.C. say you cannot repeal ObamaCare.

That was one of the criticisms that you just read.  You cannot shrink the federal government.  You cannot balance the budget.  You cannot do term limits.  Chuck, if we don't do that, we're done.  We can own this next century if we actually implement conservative reforms.  I'm not running to manage the decline of this great country.  I'm running to make real changes in D.C.

Jindal said after the republicans and Mitt Romney lost in 2012 that it had to stop being the stupid party.  He was, at the time, making the reference to extremist statements on social issues that torpedoed the republicans chances at that time.  However, Jindal is to the far right on all of the social issues of this election cycle.  Is he leading the charge to make the “stupid party”, even more stupid?  


Well, I tell you, your state, according to CNBC, ranks 46th out of 50 in 2015 as a state to do business.  How do you take that record to conservative Republicans and say, "Make me the executive in charge"?


Chuck we also, now we're a top-ten state for private-sector job creation, after 25 years of out-migration, seven years in a row of in-migration, we actually have more people working and living here in Louisiana than ever before.  We have $60 billion, 90,000 jobs coming into our state.  We were ranked higher in every business ranking that has been done since I've taken governor.

We're now at our highest ranking ever.  We've turned this state around.  When you look at what was going on post-Katrina, many were wondering whether they could come back here.  Again, decades of out-migration, we have reversed that, highest ever per-capita state income ranking in our state's history.  Eight different credit upgrades, our highest credit ratings in decades.

And also, the fewest number of state employees in decades.  We measure success by how people are doing in the real world, not in the government sector.  I know that a lot of politicians, Republicans and Democrats, don't like that.  But that's how we measure success.

Louisiana has trailed the rest of the nation in the most important economic criteria of all, GDP.  For years, Jindal has been claiming that Louisiana’s growth was twice that of the nation’s and that the GDP was fifty-percent greater than the nation’s.  False.  Louisiana, based upon the most recent federal data, has underperformed the rest of the nation in productivity.


Well, we will see you on the campaign trail, see how voters react.  Governor Jindal, thanks for coming on Meet the Press.  Stay safe on the trail, sir.


Thanks Chuck.

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