By Sarah Zagorski
In January, for the fifth year in a row, Louisiana was declared the most pro-life state in the nation by American’s United for Life (AUL). Since pro-life Governor Bobby Jindal has been in office for the past six years, it would be fair to say his leadership, at least in part, has created a more pro-life Louisiana.
After AUL made their announcement, Jindal said, “Louisiana was named the most pro-life state for the fifth year in a row. In Louisiana, we promote a culture of life and protect the weakest and most vulnerable among us.”
During Jindal’s time in office he’s signed countless pieces of pro-life legislation as well as limited Obamacare by prohibiting the coverage of elective abortion in health care plans. This is exactly why many pro-life advocates and Republican voters would be thrilled if Jindal ran for president in 2016. In the Decatur Daily, journalist Cal Thomas reported that Jindal said he’d decide in “two to three months” whether to run for president.
The pro-life legislation Jindal’s signed include everything from bills that ban abortion at 20-weeks and stop coerced abortions— to legislation that requires abortion facilities to provide ultrasounds prior to an abortion and ensures that medical professionals don’t have to participate in abortion.
In 2014, Jindal signed Louisiana Right to Life’s flagship legislation, the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act (HB 388), which could close three of the five abortion clinics in the state. HB 388 requires that abortion providers have admitting privileges within 30 miles of a local hospital; clarifies that informed consent protections apply to both surgical abortion, as well as to RU-486 chemical abortions; and that facilities that perform more than five abortions maintain proper licensing. After the passage of the HB 388 through the Louisiana Legislation, Gov. Jindal said, “This bill will give women the health and safety protections they deserve.”
Earlier this year, The Washington Times reported that Jindal blasted U.S. House Republicans after they pulled a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. He said, “The American people elected a Republican majority to support the pro-life movement and champion conservative principles. I hope they reconsider.”
In January, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, which serves under Jindal’s administration, announced that they are blocking abortions at an abortion facility Planned Parenthood is building in New Orleans. Originally, their facility was supposed to open by the end of 2014; however, due to opposition from pro-life Louisianans, including Louisiana Right to Life, the Jindal administration and the Archdiocese of New Orleans, their efforts have been stalled.
The Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, Benjamin Clapper, told the Washington Post more about Jindal’s commitment to protecting unborn life. He said, “He’s not just been pro-life behind closed doors. He’s also been proudly pro-life across our state.” American’s United for Life also told the Post that during Jindal’s time in office, Louisiana has been the most pro-life it has ever been.
Remarkably, Jindal has always been completely honest about his pro-life views.
In 2003, he said, “In my first race in 2003, at one of my first fundraisers, my first question was from a fairly liberal woman who asked me my position on abortion. I told her I was pro-life. I remember thinking I was going to have to return all the money I had raised! But amazingly, she became a financial supporter despite our differences over abortion. It turns out she already knew I was pro-life; she just wanted to see if I would be honest about my position or if I would waffle in order to get her money.”
According to the National Right to Life Committee, Jindal had a 100-percent voting record during three years as member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Additionally, Louisiana Right to Life has honored Gov. Jindal on numerous occasions for his pro-life stand in the Pelican State. In January, as Jindal left the stage after speaking at their annual pro-life rally Clapper said, “Bobby Jindal is the most pro-life governor in the history of Louisiana.”
Published by Life News.
By Ryan Teague Beckwith
Since becoming the governor of Louisiana in 2008, Jindal has amassed a clip file of guest editorials that would be the envy of any freelance opinion writer.
By TIME’s count, he’s been published 47 times in general interest outlets such as the Washington Post, CNN and Politico as well as conservative-leaning media such as the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and National Review. Of those, 41 have been since the start of his second term in 2012.
“Whether you’re a fan of his or not, the guy is a one-man think tank,” Curt Anderson, a political consultant who’s worked with Jindal since 2003, tells TIME.
It’s a canny strategy for an outside-the-Beltway governor with his eye on the Oval Office and Jindal is using it for three different but related strategies:
- Get attention for his efforts in Louisiana. Jindal has used several columns to draw attention to issues affecting his state, such as the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a legal fight over a school choice program. That helps promote his record as governor in the Republican presidential primary.
- Comment on national issues. A former member of Congress, Jindal has also written about issues that don’t always attract a governor’s eye, such as the fiscal cliff, sequestration, Ebola funding, immigration, the release of Bowe Bergdahl and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. That helps keep him in the national political conversation.
- Offer Republicans strategic advice. Jindal has told Republicans that they shouldn’t panic about Obama’s re-election, given tips on how they can win elections including for the White House, argued they should not offer “Obamacare lite” and made the case they should back over-the-counter birth control. That boosts his image as a party strategist.
Still, Jindal’s output is notable. His pieces are on a par with some full-time columnists, often making use of clever conceits like focusing on how Hillary Clinton opposed the individual mandate in 1993, outlining ways that President Obama could use his executive powers to improve the economy or tallying up how much the average insurance premium has risen since the Affordable Care Act was signed.
Anderson says that the pieces are all Jindal’s ideas.
“Sometimes he’ll write them and sometimes he’ll say we should write something on this and talk for five minutes and we’ll write it,” he says. “It’s different every time.”
The most influential column came about almost by accident in late 2012. Anderson said some Jindal staffers and consultants were having a meeting on some other topic when the governor — who got his start in politics as the head of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals — started talking about how Republicans should address the politics of birth control, which he thought had become “silly.”
“We were all sitting there thinking, ‘Huh,’ — we hadn’t really thought of that,” he recalls.
The Jindal column that resulted, “The end of birth-control politics,” ran in the Wall Street Journal on Dec. 12. It called for Republicans to embrace over-the-counter birth control pills as a way of countering Democrats’ “war on women” narrative with a free-market solution. Over the following year, Jindal staffers noticed that more and more Republicans were adopting the platform.
By the 2014 midterm elections, Republican Senate candidates in Minnesota, Virginia and Colorado had adopted it in their campaigns. Though it didn’t help carry the first two states, it arguably helped Sen. Cory Gardner beat back arguments from incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall to win in Colorado. “I believe the pill ought to be available over the counter, round the clock, without a prescription — cheaper and easier, for you,” Gardner argued in an ad.
It remains to be seen whether Jindal’s columns will help him win his own likely race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Guest editorials can be a negative, especially when you don’t get to write the headline, as Mitt Romney learned when his 2008 New York Times column headlined “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” became an issue in a debate with President Obama. And former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s long paper trail of punditry weighed down his 2012 campaign.
But Shannon Bates Dirmann, a spokeswoman for Jindal, said in an email to TIME that the columns have already served their purpose.
“The Governor gave a major speech to the Republican National Committee after the 2012 elections in which he called on Republicans to just not be party of no and have new ideas,” she wrote. “He took his own advice.”
Published by Time.
The Washington Examiner
By Bobby Jindal
“Elections have consequences,” President Obama said, setting his new policy agenda just three days after taking office in 2009. Three elections later, the president’s party has lost 70 House seats and 14 Senate seats. The job of Republicans now is to govern with the confidence that elections do have consequences, promptly passing the conservative reform the voters have demanded.
Commentators and pundits are already suggesting that Republicans need to be careful about what they do now that they control Congress. So do I — I believe we need to be very careful to stand up for what we believe in, and for what the American people voted for.
The Republican-controlled Congress must pass conservative reforms on energy, healthcare, tax reform and education, and give the president the opportunity to do the will of the American people. Let him decide if he wants to be constructive, or if he wants to conclude his presidency as a liberal obstructionist ideologue who vetoes everything.
In the days since the voters handed the President a resounding defeat, he has been defiantly in denial. He issues executive orders to bypass the Congress chosen by the voters. He broods. He pouts. He shows no sign of course correction even though he admitted famously before the vote that his policies were, in fact, on the ballot.
As Republicans, we should be unfazed by the moodiness at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The voters chose an overwhelming Republican majority at every level of government — 31 out of 50 governor’s offices, 59 out of 99 state legislative chambers and the largest Republican House majority since World War II. The mandate for governance requires that we methodically and deliberately roll back the top-down liberal policies the voters rejected and replace them with bottom-up conservative reform that works.
If President Obama actually believes the mantra he gave Republicans back in 2009, then once he works through his tantrum he will agree that the last three elections have also had consequences. Our job as Republican leaders is to give him a chance to do the will of the American voters in his last two years.
We can start with energy. On his best days, the president has bragged about the American energy renaissance and the technology that is making it happen. Republicans in Congress should give him the chance to break away from the creeping liberal orthodoxy that strangled Democratic candidates in the Energy Belt in the last election. We can become the world’s energy superpower; in addition to building the Keystone XL pipeline, here are three easy places for Congress to start: First, enabling game-changing new natural gas and oil production on under-utilized federal lands. Second, fast-tracking construction of new capacity for zero-emissions nuclear power. Third, freezing the administration’s unjustified new restrictions on legacy power generation.
The American public is demanding a common-sense national energy policy that utilizes all sources of domestic energy to give us a stronger hand in foreign policy, to green-light new manufacturing investment that relies on affordable prices, and to drive the economic growth that fuels new environmentally friendly innovation and diversification.
No subject was more important in the 2014 elections than healthcare, and Republicans in Congress should waste no time in taking decisive action in response to the voters’ demands. Obamacare has escalated costs, disrupted coverage, and introduced bad incentives throughout our healthcare system. Congress must repeal Obamacare and send the president a replacement package of reforms that protects freedom and focuses on the real problem with American healthcare — affordability.
Working with the America Next think tank, I’ve outlined a replacement package that will do just that. Yes, it is very possible that President Obama will veto and reject such a reform package. But we should at least give him the opportunity to repeal Obamacare in full and undo his greatest mistake.
Many of the best ideas for conservative healthcare reform will come from the states. Congress should send legislation to the president’s desk to unleash that positive change, taking unnecessary restrictions and mandates off Medicaid programs so that governors and legislators can innovate to better serve the low-income populations in their states. Republican governors have already outlined many of these changes, from modernizing benefit design to simplifying accountability to eliminating unnecessary requirements — all that is required is Washington getting out of the way.
The president gets to choose the attitude he adopts regarding his last two years in office. He can be humble and constructive or defiant and partisan. Republicans would be wise to be oblivious to his emotion and fits of hyperbole and focus only on substance. The public deliberately put conservatives in power. They made that choice in a nationalized election centered on policy. It’s our job to do exactly what they demanded.
Finally, let’s remember this — beginning with Hillarycare in 1993, it took the Left 16 long years to realize their dream of creating a new entitlement program and giving control of the American healthcare system to the federal government. If the president refuses to come to his senses, it may take us until we have a Republican president in 2017 to make things right. Freedom is worth the fight; we must start now.
It has become fashionable in Washington to argue that Obamacare cannot be reversed. That is nonsense. It’s a fight worth waging, and a fight which can be won.
Published by The Washington Examiner.
The National Review
By Larry Kudlow
‘Let’s be honest here. Islam has a problem.”
Those are key sentences in an incredibly hard-hitting speech that Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal will give in London on Monday. It is the toughest speech I have read on the whole issue of Islamic radicalism and its destructive, murdering, barbarous ways which are upsetting the entire world.
Early in the speech Jindal says he’s not going to be politically correct. And he uses the term “radical Islamists” without hesitation, placing much of the blame for the Paris murders and all radical Islamist terrorism on a refusal of Muslim leaders to denounce these acts.
Jindal says, “Muslim leaders must make clear that anyone who commits acts of terror in the name of Islam is in fact not practicing Islam at all. If they refuse to say this, then they are condoning these acts of barbarism. There is no middle ground.”
Then he adds, specifically, “Muslim leaders need to condemn anyone who commits these acts of violence and clearly state that these people are evil and are enemies of Islam. It’s not enough to simply condemn violence, they must stand up and loudly proclaim that these people are not martyrs who will receive a reward in the afterlife, and rather they are murderers who are going to hell. If they refuse to do that, then they’re part of the problem. There is no middle ground here.”
I want to know who in the Muslim community in the United States has said this. Which leaders? I don’t normally cover this beat, so I may well have missed it. Hence I ask readers to tell me if so-called American Muslim leaders have said what Governor Jindal is saying.
And by the way, what Bobby Jindal is saying is very similar to what Egyptian president al-Sisi said earlier in the year to a group of Muslim imams.
Said al-Sisi, “It’s inconceivable that the thinking we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”
He then asks, “How is it possible that 1.6 billion Muslims should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live?” He concludes, if this is not changed, “it may eventually lead to the religion’s self destruction.”
That’s President al-Sisi of Egypt, which I believe has the largest Muslim population in the world.
And what Jindal and al-Sisi are saying is not so different from the thinking of French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, he calls the Charlie Hebdo murders “the Churchillian moment of France’s Fifth Republic.” He essentially says France and the world must slam “the useful idiots of a radical Islam immersed in the sociology of poverty and frustration.” He adds, “Those whose faith is Islam must proclaim very loudly, very often, and in great numbers their rejection of this corrupt and abject form of theocratic passion. . . . Islam must be freed from radical Islam.”
So three very different people — a young southern governor who may run for president, the political leader of the largest Muslim population in the world, and a prominent Western European intellectual — are saying that most of the problem and most of the solution rests with the people of the Islamic religion themselves. If they fail to take action, the radicals will swallow up the whole religion and cause the destruction of the entire Middle East and possibly large swaths of the rest of the world.
Lévy called this a Churchillian moment. And London mayor Boris Johnson argues in his book The Churchill Factor that Winston Churchill was the most important 20th century figure because his bravery in 1940 stopped the triumph of totalitarianism. So today’s battle with the Islamic radicals is akin to the Cold War battle of freedom vs. totalitarianism.
But returning to Governor Jindal, the U.S. is not helpless. Jindal argues that America must restore its proper leadership role in international affairs. (Of course, Obama has taken us in the opposite direction, and won’t even use the phrase “Islamic radicals.”) And Jindal invokes Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher by saying, “The tried and true prescription must be employed again: a strong economy, a strong military, and leaders willing and able to assert moral, economic, and military leadership in the cause of freedom.”
Reagan always argued that weakness at home leads to weakness abroad. A strong growing economy provides the resources for military and national security. Right now we’re uncomfortably close to having neither.
This is the great challenge of our time. In the early years of the 21st century, it appears the great goal of our age is the defeat of radical Islam.
Jindal gets it.
Published by National Review.
The Des Moines Register
By Jennifer Jacobs
Some Iowa religious conservative leaders said Tuesday night that they'd never thought of Bobby Jindal as a faith-driven politician — the Louisiana governor is better known as an Ivy League-educated, policy-driven idea generator, they said.
While Jindal's seeming shift to a more Jesus-focused form of politics might cool enthusiasm for some business-minded Republicans, he was well received by a crowd of about 110 Christian and Jewish leaders at an invitation-only, closed-press event Tuesday night in Des Moines.
"The reality is I'm here today because I genuinely, sincerely, passionately believe that America's in desperate need of a spiritual revival," Jindal, who is weighing a presidential bid, said during a 37-minute-long speech followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session.
"I love to quote Winston Churchill. ... 'You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they've exhausted every alternative,' " Jindal said.
"That's where we are as a country," he continued. "We have tried everything and now it is time to turn back to God."
The dinner was sponsored by the American Renewal Project, a conservative effort that aims to erase the wall that separates religious leaders and political leaders. Earlier in the day Tuesday, Jindal gave the same presentation to about 50 religious leaders in Cedar Rapids.
The Des Moines Register was given exclusive access to cover Jindal's Des Moines speech.
Several pastors and other spiritual leaders unfamiliar with Jindal's religious side said before the dinner that they'd be listening to see how well he delivered testimony about his spiritual life.
"He has to be able to speak the dialect," said Jan Mickelson, a local radio talk show host and religious conservative commentator. "This is a crowd that can hear whether he speaks the right language, with the right connotation, with the right context."
Jindal, whose parents were and still are Hindu, told the Iowans about how he "found Jesus as my Lord and Savior" at age 16 and eventually converted to Catholicism. He talked about searching the Bible for "shortcuts and easy answers," and realizing that "on the last page in the book of life, our God wins. ... Our God beats death. Our God beats Satan for us."
Afterward, Mickelson said: "He's not bilingual. That's his native tongue. He will give (Mike) Huckabee a run in Iowa."
Several GOP potential 2016 presidential candidates are known for trying to connect with Christian conservative voters, including Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas; Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul; former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum; Texas Gov. Rick Perry; and Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
A recent Iowa Poll found that nearly half — 46 percent — of Iowans who intend to participate in the 2016 Republican caucuses consider themselves evangelical Christians.
The Rev. Larry Davis of New Friendship Church of God in Christ, a Des Moines Pentecostal church, said that this was the first time he'd heard Jindal speak about his faith, and that his message was spot on.
"That's the message the country needs to hear: If the people start to humble themselves and look to God and pray, then God is going to start healing the land."
Tamara Scott, an Iowa evangelical Christian leader whose husband owns the Airport Holiday Inn, where the event was held, said she's seen some Republicans establish themselves as budget-minded conservatives before pursuing social issues. It allows them to gain credibility, she said, without being pigeon-holed as a religious conservative.
Jindal told the Register in an interview Tuesday night that although the role of God in his life might be unfamiliar to Iowans and others outside Louisiana, it's very familiar to people in his home state.
Asked if there's any danger that budget-focused, business Republicans in Iowa will be turned off by all the faith talk, Jindal said: "Look, I've never been afraid to stand up for who I am 100 percent of the time, 100 percent of who I am. My advice for the Republican Party is that we need to be a party based on principle.
"The GOP is not only the party that fights for smaller government, lower taxes, school choice and energy independence, it's the party that fights to protect "innocent human life and traditional marriage," he said.
"We should be a party that's proud of our conservative principles. Our country doesn't need two liberal parties," he said. "Not everybody's going to agree with us 100 percent of the time, and that's OK. What the country doesn't want, I think, is a party that's pretending to be something it's not. If all we do is pretend to be cheaper Democrats, we'll never earn the right to be in the majority. Let's stand up for what we believe. Let's be authentic. Let's be sincere. Let's not discriminate. Let's respect people who disagree with us. Let's be bold and specific."
Two years ago, Jindal urged on the GOP to "stop being the stupid party." He was referring to Republicans who damaged the brand with offensive and bizarre comments, he said.
It was Jindal's sixth trip to Iowa since the 2012 presidential election. He has chosen a mixed set of venues — including a Republican Party state convention, a Polk County GOP holiday dinner, and another American Renewal Project event in August 2014.
Organizers said Tuesday's events were closed-door so that pastors could have a private experience without feeling like they were using their spiritual roles for a publicity event.
Several Republicans eyeing a White House bid will share an Iowa stage during Iowa Freedom Summit on Jan. 24, a daylong event organized by U.S. Rep. Steve King and Citizens United. Jindal has said he can't make that event because it's the same day as "the Response," a gathering in Baton Rouge that will center on fasting and prayer for the well-being of the United States. Perry led the prayer event in Texas shortly before launching a presidential bid three years ago.
"It's a nonpolitical event. No political speeches," Jindal said. "It's a time for prayer. It's a time for repentance. I think it's going to be so good for our country."
Published by The Des Moines Register.