Bobby Jindal, touted as perhaps the smartest candidate who’s ever run for president by Red State leader Erick Erickson and others, also has a compelling personal story as the son of legal immigrants.
“We’re all Americans,” Jindal told the RedState Gathering, not some hyphenated version of Americans. We’re a melting pot, he says, and should focus on assimiliation, rather than a salad bowl.
“Immigration without assimilation is invasion,” he said, reprising a stump speech applause line. “We must not let that happen in America.”
Jindal’s immigrant Dad cold-called through the phone book to find his first job in the U.S., and finally told a railroad boss who offered him a job that he needed a ride to get to work. The boss was so impressed, he drove him to work daily. His Dad also negotiated a monthly payment to cover the cost of Bobby’s birth…”paying for a baby on layaway,” he said to warm laughter from the crowd.
“We’ve got a lot of great talkers running for president,” Jindal said. “The problem is we’ve got a great talker in the White House now. We can’t afford four more years of on-the-job training….We measure the success in the real world, not the government world,” he said.
CEO of the state that’s been ranked “most pro-life” six years in a row, Jindal said that earlier this week that Louisiana cancelled Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contract after the appearance of hidden-camera videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the how, and how much, of fetal-tissue acquisition and sales.
In this week’s debate he said he would send the DOJ and IRS to investigate Planned Parenthood. At RedState Gathering, he clarified the statement, noting that he’d also send OSHA, EPA and “every federal agency I can think of.”
“Even if you’re not yet pro-life there is no reason one dime of our taxpayer dollars needs to be going to this organization,” he said.
“I’ve got the backbone, I’ve got the bandwidth, I’ve got the experience to get the job done,” said Jindal, who, like Perry and other governors, touts his leadership experience as more than “just talk,” a backhanded slap at the candidates who are mere senators.
Alarm over the Supreme Court’s approach to rulings on marriage and Obamacare amplifies the importance of electing a president who will nominate more constitutional justices.
“If they’re just going to follow opinion polls and not read the Constitution, maybe we should just close down the Supreme Court,” he said facetiously.
“Now the Left is going after our First Amendment rights,” discriminating against Christians who have a traditional view of marriage, Jindal said.
He, like Walker, Cruz and others, is bold and unapologetic about his Christian faith.
In the biggest applause line of his speech, Jindal said: “The United States of America did not create religious liberty. Religious liberty created the United States of America.” Loud applause and about half the room came to their feet.
In open defiance of establishment Republicans who would water down the party’s principles to appeal to independents, Jindal said, “In 2016, why don’t we try something different? Why don’t we run on our principles?”
He twits Jeb Bush for suggesting that we may need to dial those back to win a broader cross section of voters.
Jindal wants to make mayors and councilmen “criminally liable” for shielding illegal immigrants through so-called sanctuary city laws. And he says protecting our homeland starts with speaking the truth about the threat.
“Islam has a problem, it’s called radical Islam,” he said. “We’re going to hunt them down and kill them.” Contrary to the popular Leftist narrative, efforts to win the hearts and minds of jihadis are not adequate, Jindal said. “Sometimes guns are useful when you have to kill murdering terrorists to defeat evil in the world.”
In the Q&A session, he talked about the devastating impact of the Obama administration’s response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the ignorance he encountered among top administration officials who, for example, didn’t even realize that oil platforms are mobile and can be moved.
While Jindal seems like a longshot for the nomination at this point, his message resonates with movement conservatives. It remains to be seen whether he can assemble a campaign and the funding to get that message in front of enough of the base to build momentum in the early primaries.