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.
By Jennifer Wishon
BATON ROUGE, La. - Bobby Jindal's historic election as the first governor of Indian decent catapulted him into the limelight. Now the light's even brighter as he considers a run for the White House.
Jindal grew up not far from the governor's mansion.
"Growing up in Baton Rouge, did you ever think you'd be living here?" CBN News' Jennifer Wishon asked him during a recent chat in the elegant old mansion.
"No," he replied. "Growing up my dad was very firm; he wanted us to be doctors."
He could have pursued his dad's dream, but despite getting into medical and law schools at both Harvard and Yale Jindal chose a life of public service.
'Call Me Bobby'
His parents named him Piyush, but as a young boy, Jindal picked a nickname that stuck.
He laughed as he remembers the story.
"You know, I was 4 years old. I used to come home from school and at that time I was allowed to watch a little TV," he recalled. "One of the shows that was in syndication was the 'Brady Bunch.' It was one of my favorite shows."
"I would watch it every afternoon," he continued. "And if you remember, Bobby Brady was the youngest boy on that show and I guess I just identified with him because we were the same age, had the same interests, you know. We didn't like girls; we liked to play football."
"So one day my mom was picking me up from school and the teacher said, 'Well, your son has got a new name.' And she said, 'What are you talking about?'" he said. "And apparently I just showed up one day without asking her for permission and told all my friends to call me Bobby. From that day on and they did."
Jindal's parents immigrated to Louisiana from India while his mother was pregnant with him. They traveled half-way across the world in search of a better life.
Jindal says he ran for public office to ensure their grandchildren don't have to leave Louisiana to achieve their American dream.
"My parents, but my dad especially, has lived the American dream," Jindal told CBN News. "One of nine kids, he's the only one who got passed the fifth grade. He literally grew up in a house without electricity, without running water."
"He worked extremely hard and got his first job by calling companies out of the Yellow pages until somebody would hire him here in Baton Rouge," he said.
Son of Immigrants
CBN News asked Jindal if the debate over immigration reform is personal to him given that he is the son of immigrants.
"This to me is such a simple issue where we are today. We don't need a thousand-page bill, a comprehensive bill out of the Senate," he replied. "We need to secure the border."
"I think it's pretty simple, you know," he continued. "The president keeps talking about it. We need to just do it. And the reality is, if he was serious about it - he's been president now. He's in his second term - this could have been done by now. There's no excuse for this."
Despite his southern drawl, Jindal is an extremely fast talker who rarely misses a chance to call out the president.
"I think the biggest frustration right now is it's the rest of the country versus D.C.," he said.
He knows something about Washington having served two terms in Congress. Now as a two-term governor he's making education reform a priority.
"One of the most important things we've done is to really give parents, to trust parents in terms of educating their kids," he said.
He's changed his mind on wanting Common Core standards for Louisiana schools.
"I believe this was originally presented as a bottom-up approach and instead has become a top-down approach," Jindal said.
"To me this is the same fight you see when the left tells you we can't trust the American people to buy Big Gulps," he explained.
"We can't trust the American people to exercise their Second Amendment rights," he continued. "We can't trust the American people to have religious liberty; we can't trust the American people to buy their own health insurance to decide what health insurance they want."
It's a calculated fight with Louisiana's Board of Education and now some proponents of Common Core are suing Jindal.
Jindal and his wife Supriya have a girl and two boys of their own to think about educating.
"My kids were 6, 3, and 1 when we moved in the mansion," Jindal recalled as he stood in the foyer of the governor's mansion.
That was six years ago. After long labors with their first two children, Supriya knew their third child, Slade, wouldn't wait for the hospital.
That gave Jindal a chance to finally play the profession his dad dreamed for him as he literally delivered his son at home.
"She was in all this pain and she was literally on the floor," he recalled. "I mean there was no time to get prepared."
"When I saw my son covered in this purple goo; I was thinking 'I don't think he's done, I mean, maybe we should put him back in for a little while," he joked.
"But when I handed Supriya our child for the first time, all that pain went away," he said. "She wasn't thinking about anything but her little baby boy and I fell in love with her all over again."
Jindal said Supriya was the first girl he had a crush on in high school and the first girl to break his heart. When he finally got up the nerve to ask her out she said no because her family was preparing to move to New Orleans.
Their reunion came many years later at a Mardi Gras ball. In six short months they were engaged.
"You know, God truly has a plan for us," he said. "Sometimes we don't understand it. If she had said yes in high school, I wasn't ready. I wasn't mature enough. I hadn't even accepted Christ yet in terms of who I was going to become as a person."
An 'Evangelical Catholic'
Jindal grew up in a Hindu home but converted into what he calls an "evangelical Catholic."
"You know, I'd love to tell you I had a sudden epiphany, but it wasn't that easy," he told CBN News. "You know, for some people it really is easy - they get hit over the head and I think that's great. For me, it was a seven-year process."
After a journey of intense reading, study, and self-examination, Jindal said it all clicked one day while attending a church production with a friend.
"In the middle of it they showed a little film, nothing fancy, a black and white film where there was an actor playing Jesus being crucified," he recalled.
"Now we've probably seen a thousand better movies - it was black and white, no famous actors, the camera was probably shaking. But for some reason when I saw the actor on the cross, God chose that moment to hit me harder than I've ever been hit before," he said.
"All of a sudden it just hit me," he recalled. "That's really the son of God and He's up there on that cross, not for a billion people - that's too easy. He's up there because of Bobby Jindal."
"He's up there dying because of my sins, because of what I've done, what I've failed to do," he said. "How arrogant for me to do anything but get on my knees and to worship him."
America's Greatest Threat
For now, he does what anyone with one eye on the White House typically does: raise money and campaign for candidates competing in the midterms.
After the last presidential election he said the Republican Party was acting "stupid."
"When I said we've got to stop being the stupid party; we've got to offer solutions," he said. "We cannot just be the anti-party. We've got to be for things."
"I think this is still a center-right country and I think that if we will present specific solutions, if we go out there and fight for every vote and say, 'Not only do we oppose what the other side is doing, we've got better ideas,'" he said.
Last fall he launched America Next, a conservative policy group designed to develop some of those ideas.
Jindal suggested America may be its own greatest enemy.
"I don't think we can be beat by an external enemy. I think the greatest threat to America comes from within," he told CBN News. "We are blessed to be in the greatest country in the history of the world, but it's not inevitably so and we've got to renew that every generation."
"I think the biggest threat is the erosion of what it means to pursue the American dream," he explained. "It's that assault on religious liberties, the undermining of what makes us an exceptional country."
He's not expected to make a decision about running for president until after November, but he's not shy when it comes to talking about who he consults about the future.
"It's like Jesus, it's like God gives us the Book of Life. He doesn't let us look at every page, but He lets us look at the last page and on the last page our God wins. He beats death. He beats Satan. He gets up off that cross," he said.
"We should rejoice," he added. "And we should live our lives with grace, glory, and humility animated by that sense that we worship a risen, all powerful God who's got plans that we won't necessarily understand."
Published by CBN News.