Bobby Jindal on Principles & Values
Republican Governor; previously Representative (LA-1)
JINDAL: Last time I was elected governor, I won a record margin in my state. We've got a lot of politicians that will kiss babies, cut ribbons, do whatever it takes to be popular. That's not why I ran for office. I ran for office to make the generational changes in Louisiana. We've cut 26 percent of our budget. We have 30,000 fewer state bureaucrats than the day I took office. I don't think anybody has cut that much government anywhere, at any time. As a result, eight credit upgrades; as a result, a top ten state for private sector job creation. My point is this: I won two landslide elections, I made big changes. I think our country is tired of the politicians who simply read the polls and fail to lead. I think the American people are looking for real leadership. That's what I've done in Louisiana, that's what I'll do in America.
JINDAL: That was an RNC audience. And you can tell there was some nervous laughter when I said that. I've got Op-Ed coming out tomorrow: we can't just be the party of no. As a party, we've got good solutions. Why not delay all of the mandates in ObamaCare? Why not approve the Keystone Pipeline today? The Republican Party needs to be all about growth, opportunity, creating good paying private sector jobs.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA.: We've got to stop being the stupid party. It's no secret we had a number of Republicans that damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I'm here to say we've had enough of that.
NEWT GINGRICH: You know, it's ironic. In 1976, Irving Kristol wrote an essay for The Wall Street Journal entitled "The Stupid Party," which I commend to every Republican. Ronald Reagan came along with Jack Kemp and they basically moved us back to being an idea-oriented party. I think we clearly have to change. When you lose Latinos by 71%; you lose Asian- Americans by 74%; you lose people under 30; you lose single women--I mean, you go down the list. Except for 2004, with an incumbent, we have not won a majority since 1988.
Truth be told, I have never mastered the teleprompter. In fact, I hate the teleprompter. And as the country found out that night, the teleprompter hates me, too.
So here you have me, a guy who is "teleprompter challenged," versus the king of the teleprompter. Bad match up. My delivery was just awful. Even though it's never been done before, I should have just winged the response. The press savage my performance.
The bottom line is this: it was my speech, I delivered it poorly, and I take full responsibility for it. When you screw up, it's time to man up. Interestingly, many people who heard the speech, but did not see it, thought it was great.
A: At first, they were very, very concerned. I'm a parent and I put myself in their shoes: 'Your teenage son comes home and says he is changing his religion. At first your reaction is--'Is this just a fad? Is he doing it for a girl? Will it wear off?' Second, you wonder, 'Is he joining a cult?' Third you wonder, 'Is he rejecting us?' I think they finally got to acceptance. By the time they attended our wedding and our kids' baptisms, they are very proud to be there. But still they are actively Hindu.
Q: What led you to join the Catholic Church while a student at Brown University?
A: There were a couple of things that drew me to Catholicism. One was the sacraments, and I felt a hunger for the sacraments. The other was the history and tradition of the church. I got baptized in Providence (without family present); I didn't want to cause them any more heartache than I had already caused.
My questions continued until a church at LSU showed a simple film about the crucifixion. I had studied that momentous event, yet watching that film I suddenly realized that Christ was on the cross because of me--my sins--what I had done, what I had failed to do. This was my epiphany. He didn't die for billions, which was so abstract, but because of me. Suddenly, God was tangible.
In the summer of 1987 I knelt in prayer and accepted Christ as my Savior. For a year I postponed telling my parents.
My path to Christianity was an intellectual journey followed by a leap of faith. It took me years, and at the end of it I concluded that the historical evidence for Christianity was overwhelming
As I grew up, my mom & dad taught me the values that attracted them to this country, and they instilled in me an immigrant's wonder at the greatness of America. As a child, my dad would tell me: "Bobby, Americans can do anything." I still believe that to this day: When we pull together, there is no challenge we can't overcome.
JINDAL: No, I think right now there's not much difference between the two parties. The reason we keep losing nationally is we try to be cheaper versions of the Democratic party. What if the Republicans, what if Republicans actually embraced our own principles?
Q: What are those principles?
JINDAL: If you want bigger paychecks, you want more jobs, you want less government dependence, you're going to have to cut government spending. If Republicans want to win national elections, let's be conservatives, let's be Republicans, let's not be a second version of the liberal party, let's cut government spending and grow the American economy.
JINDAL: I'm in compliance with the 11th Commandment: let's stop treating Donald Trump like a Republican. If he were really a conservative and 30 points ahead, I would endorse him. He's not a conservative. He's not a liberal. He's not a Democrat. He's not a Republican. He believes in Donald Trump.
SANTORUM: I think personal attacks, [should be limited to just one person], Hillary Clinton. I don't think it helps when Republicans attack Republicans personally.
JINDAL: Hillary Clinton is gift-wrapping this election to us. They are running their weakest candidate. The best way for us to give this election back would be to nominate a Donald Trump. He'll implode in the general election. You can't just attack him on policy. He doesn't care about policy. He's not serious.
As a studious man of immigrant background with the kind of credentials admired by coastal intellectual meritocrats--Brown, Oxford and McKinsey & Company--the Republican governor, at least on paper, has a chance to appeal to the middle, should he run for president in 2016. He also has an impressive record as a government bureaucrat and administrator, both in Washington and in Baton Rouge.
Yet given his own deep faith and his roots in the Bible Belt, Jindal's early focus will be on wooing evangelical Christians and others on the cultural right.
If he can solve this Rubik's Cube of religious belief and scientific trust, he may not only do the country a favor; he might reach the White House.
He portrayed this goal as more realistic than a bitter struggle for control of Washington, given the results of recent elections, and the booby prize awarded to the victors of such a struggle. "If our end goal is to simply better manage the disaster that is the federal government, you can count me out. I'm not signing up for that. Who here wants to sign up for managing the decline of America?"
He said he was content to allow the Democrats to remain the party of government expansion and economic contraction.
National reporters have often said to me, "It must have been so tough for you growing up in the Deep South." To which my response is, "Um.no. It was not tough, in fact it was tremendous. I'm a son of the Deep South, so you can keep your prejudices to yourself." Louisiana is my home and I'm proud of it.
I've never had it tough, but my dad did. He grew up in India, the only one of nine children to get beyond the fifth grade. For me, growing up middle-class in Louisiana was anything but tough. Compared to my father, I grew up in great riches, because I grew up in America.
Jindal said there was a "silent war" against religious liberty: "I am tired of the left. They say they're for tolerance, they say they respect diversity. The reality is this: They respect everybody unless you happen to disagree with them," he said. "The left is trying to silence us and I'm tired of it, I won't take it anymore."
But the values I learned from my Hindu parents ran deep: honesty, respect for elders, hard work, modesty, reverence, the importance of family--traditional Hindu values that meshed quite well with Louisiana's traditional Bible Belt beliefs. I never felt culturally different from your typical Baton Rouge kid.
To this day, it surprises me how little the national press understands about faith. When I was serving in Washington, I had lunch with a well-known reporter. Before we ate she saw me bow my head and say grace, ever so briefly mind you. She immediately asked me if everything was okay. She was startled and fascinated by what I had done. And the fact that it startled her startled me. She was not rude or condescending. She just didn't have any frame of reference for a person who would say grace in a public restaurant before lunch. But some of our top national reporters ARE condescending, & it goes beyond matters of faith.
The GOP controls the Senate by just one vote. Even with today�s margin, the GOP doesn�t have effective control of the agenda as the Democrats use the filibuster to kill pro-growth reform or crucial judicial appointments. The next Senate could confirm two U.S. Supreme Court justices.
If the Republicans do manage to pick up a few extra seats in the Senate, there could also be an ideological shift toward pro-growth issues. Right now, the balance of power is in the hands of the RINO Republicans like Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter. With a seat pick-up for the GOP, plus the addition of GOP superstars, Olympia and Arlen would no longer be deciding votes. We could move away from watered-down Republicanism toward a genuine pro-growth agenda.
Members of the Club are economic conservatives, like-minded political contributors who are frustrated with the ideological drift of both parties today. Club members have a shared goal of contributing to and electing more Reaganites to Congress who are willing to stand for the issues like: cutting taxes, controlling federal spending, personal accounts for Social Security, ending the death tax, eliminating the capital gains tax, fundamental tax reform, providing true school choice and minimizing government's role in our daily lives.
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