Sept. 25, 2015
Family Research Council
10th Annual Values Voter Summit
Remarks by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R),
Republican Candidate for President
Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Time: 4:08 p.m. EDT
Date: Friday, September 25, 2015
Superior Transcriptions LLC
LOUISIANA GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL (R): Thank you all very, very much. Thanks for that very warm reception. Thanks for that generous introduction.
You know, the strangest thing just happened backstage. I know Donald Trump was here earlier, and I guess he brought a copy of the Bible he was given as a child. But he left it backstage. (Laughter.) Now, one of the — knowing how close I am to Donald Trump, one of the organizers gave it to me and asked me to get it back to him, and so I was taking a look at it. You know, this is very different from my Bible. I’m not sure what translation — I don’t know what translation you use. This is a very different — my Bible, it doesn’t say “The Art of the Deal” on the front cover. (Laughter.) It doesn’t have a picture of Donald Trump on the front cover. (Laughter.) So we’ll have to make sure to get that back to Donald. (Laughter.)
You know, I want to talk — and I know you all have heard the news today that Speaker Boehner decided to step down. (Cheers, applause.) A reporter asked me what I thought about that. I said, well, that’s good — that’s one down, that’s 434 more to go before we’re done. (Applause.)
Folks it is time to fire everybody in D.C. And the reason I’m saying that is, right now, we’ve got a choice between honest socialists on one side and lying conservatives on the other. I mean, the reality is the Left is honest. They’ll tell us what they’re going to do. They’re going to try to expand socialism. It’s the Republicans that lie to us. They say they’re conservative during the campaigns. They don’t govern like it at all.
Here’s my message — here’s what I say in response to Speaker Boehner stepping down. Mitch McConnell, it is now your turn. (Cheers, applause.) If Senator McConnell’s not willing to fight for our conservative principles, he needs to follow John Boehner’s example. The surrender caucus needs to surrender their gavels, turn it in. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah!
GOV. JINDAL: You know, I’ll be — I’m going to say something that may surprise you. I’m actually angrier with the Republicans than the Democrats. (Cheers, applause.) You’ve got a bunch of Republicans that don’t even do the things they say they were going to do.
Remember what I said. You got honest socialists. You got guys that are — like Bernie Sanders, they’re fighting for socialism. Why won’t our side fight half as hard for freedom and for America? (Applause.)
On issue after issue, all they know how to do is give up. They told us give us the majority, we’ll get rid of Obamacare and amnesty. We gave — we did our work. We voted. We donated money, time. We won the majorities. We still have Obamacare. We still have amnesty.
By the way, I’m the only candidate with a plan to get rid of all of Obamacare — not Obamacare lite, not trying to be cheaper Democrats. Let’s restore freedom to America’s health care system, not socialism. (Cheers, applause.)
We could secure the border in six months if they were serious about it. Let’s be honest, the Democrats don’t want to secure the border. The Republicans, we’re not the party of big government, but we’re becoming the party of big business. Big business interests want open borders. They want amnesty. They want Common Core. It is time to fire these clowns and get them out of the way and secure the border once and for all. (Cheers, applause.)
But they’re no better this year. So now Mitch McConnell, before the fight even starts, says we can’t defund Planned Parenthood. (Boos.) Folks, let me tell you something. If the Republican Party cannot defund Planned Parenthood, if we can’t make protecting innocent human life a winning issue nationally, what good is the Republican Party? It is time to fold up our tents and start a new movement. (Cheers, applause.)
I’ll tell you what we did in Louisiana. We’re not just talking about defunding Planned Parenthood. When that first video came out, we launched an investigation with the FBI. We asked them, the state of Texas. Then the other videos came out. We canceled their Medicaid contract, so they’re getting no taxpayer dollars in the state of Louisiana. (Cheers, applause.)
They didn’t like that. They decided to come protest at my house in Baton Rouge. Now, they’ve got a constitutional right to do that, but we’re Southerners. We like to provide hospitality. (Laughter.) We put big projection screens and cameras out there, and I showed those Planned Parenthood videos over and over and over. (Cheers, applause.)
Just so you know, it acts like insect repellent. You want to keep pests off your front yard? (Laughter.) Well, they didn’t like that.
Now they went to court. The Obama administration has joined them in court. He doesn’t have time to watch the videos; he’s got time to send his lawyers to Baton Rouge. I’ve got a message to President Obama, the Department of Justice: You might as well save your breath. You’re not going to intimidate us. We are going to defend innocent human life in the state of Louisiana. (Cheers, applause.)
Now we’ve got this awful Iran deal. Let’s be honest, the Iranians conned President Obama, President Obama conned the Senate Republicans. He can’t out-negotiate anybody, except for the Congress. (Laughter.) I mean, they passed this awful Corker bill. Instead of a two-thirds vote to approve the bill — the deal, now it takes a two-thirds vote to reject the Iran deal. Every Senate Republican voted for this bad bill, including — except for one, except for Senator Cotton, and thank him for not doing it — including the Senate Republicans running for president.
Now, look, Rubio, Cruz, Graham, Paul, they all voted for this bad bill. Now is the time for the Senate Republicans to stand up. If we’re not willing to use the nuclear option to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, what good are these Senate Republicans? If we’re not willing to break the Senate rules — (cheers, applause).
Folks, it is time to force term limits down their throats. It’s time to fire these career politicians. It’s time to get some citizen legislators who live under the same rules they pass for the rest of us. It’s time to clean shop in Washington, D.C.(Cheers, applause.)
Now, I want to talk to you directly about this presidential campaign. Now, look, I’ll be honest with you. I don’t have a famous last name. My daddy wasn’t president. I don’t have a reality TV show. This is what I’ve got. I’ve got the backbone. I’ve got the bandwidth. I’ve got the experience to get us through this.
Why is that important? There are 16-odd — or I don’t mean they’re all odd, but there are 16 or so folks running for — well, some of them are odd — (laughter) — running for president on the Republican side, and they all talk a great game. It’s easy to give great speeches with a lot of red-meat applause lines. Here is the problem: We’ve got a great talker in the White House today. Talk’s not enough. We don’t need a great talker, we need a doer. If giving a great speech was enough, we’d be on easy street.
But here’s the reality, every Republican will come up here and tell you they’re going to cut government spending, they’re going to shrink the size of government. Sounds great. But here is the difference: only one candidate has actually done it. We got seven governors, former governors running. Only one has actually cut government spending, and you’re actually looking at him. No other governor’s cut government spending. (Applause.)
We’ve got four senators running for president. They’ve never cut anything in D.C. Now, look, they give great speeches. They fill a bus or they pat themselves on the back. I’m glad they’ve got big bladders. (Laughter.) That doesn’t qualify them to be president. We’ve already got a first-term senator in the White House. We can’t afford four more years of on-the-job training.
This is why it’s so important. The next president’s going to be across the table from an ayatollah or a Putin. We better hope he doesn’t need a teleprompter to get through that meeting. (Applause.)
We’ve cut our government spending in Louisiana 26 percent, 30,000 fewer state bureaucrats than the day I took office, top 10 state for job growth, eight credit upgrades. That’s what we need in D.C. We don’t need to slow the growth of government. Let’s be honest, you either grow government spending or the American economy. It’s either/or. If we don’t shrink the government economy, it is going to swallow us whole.
And I want to say something that may be politically incorrect — well, let me just say this. If you’re looking for somebody to manage the slow decline of this once-great country, go vote for somebody else. If you want to vote for somebody who will say and do the things you’re not supposed to be able to do and say, we’re asking you to join our cause. Because I want to say something that’s politically incorrect, but it’s true: the idea of America is slipping away right in front of us.
Now, what do I mean by that? My parents came here over 40 — almost 45 years ago in search of freedom and opportunity. They were coming for the American Dream, but that same idea of America is slipping away. Too many Americans take it for granted. We can never take it for granted.
What do I mean that it’s slipping away? Eighteen trillion dollars of debt. Planned Parenthood selling baby parts across our country. We’ve got a president who’s declared war on trans fats and a truce with Iran. (Laughter, applause.) We’ve got a president who won’t even say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” We got a Supreme Court that thinks they’re smarter than God in redefining marriage. We’ve got a Left that’s trying to take God out of the public square. We’ve got the Left trying to change the American Dream into the European nightmare. We celebrate the fact we’ve got more Americans on food stamps than ever before, lower percentage — record-low participation in the workforce. We got an EPA trying to regulate the water in our backyard. We’ve got government creating new entitlement programs; we can’t afford the government we’ve got today.
Folks, the idea of America is slipping away from us. And I’m here to tell you, we don’t have a moment to waste. It’s not about tomorrow or next week or next month — right now and today we’ve got to fight to save the idea of America. Shame on those fools in D.C. that are giving away the idea of America. Shame on us if we let it happen.
I’ll tell you this, as long as I’ve got breath in my body, as long as I’ve got blood in me, I’m going to give everything I’ve got to save the idea of America. The idea of America has created more wealth than any other civilization in the history of the world. It has done more to fight for the defenseless and freedom than any other civilization in the history of the world. (Applause.) We have got a once-in-a-lifetime, once-in-a-generation opportunity to apply our conservative principles to save the idea of America.
Now, that’s why a couple of weeks ago I came to this town, and you may have seen I gave a speech and I criticized Donald Trump. Some of you may have liked it, some of you may not have liked it. But it doesn’t matter, because I’ve got to tell the truth. I mean, what good are we if we don’t tell the truth?
And here’s the truth, I love the idea of Donald Trump, I do. I love an outsider. I love somebody who’s politically incorrect. I love somebody who says the D.C. establishment is full of nonsense. I think that’s great. I thought Donald Trump was entertaining. I thought it was great when he gave our Lindsey Graham’s phone number on national TV, I did. (Laughter, applause.) I thought it was funny when he showed people falling asleep in Jeb Bush’s rallies. (Laughter.) I thought it was pretty good when he gave helicopter rides at the Iowa State Fair. I thought it was fantastic.
But here’s the problem. The idea of Donald Trump is great. The reality of Donald Trump is very different. The reality is he is not a conservative or a liberal or a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. He’s a narcissist. (Laughter, applause.) I mean, he gets criticized — I know that folks are trying to say that he was for socialized medicine or for higher taxes, and that misses the point. He doesn’t care about policy. And we as conservatives have a choice to make. Are we going to turn to our proven principles, our conservative principles? Or are we going to turn to a man who believes in nothing but himself?
I think it’s great that he took Reagan’s statement about making America great again, but he is not interested in that. He’s interested in making Donald Trump great. You know, he said that his favorite book was the Bible, couldn’t name one verse that had an impact on him. Folks, he hasn’t read the Bible. You know he hasn’t read the Bible because his name’s not in the Bible. (Laughter, cheers, applause.) But folks, this isn’t about — this isn’t about Donald Trump. This is about turning to our conservative principles. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save the idea of America. It is time to put him on the elevator, send him downstairs and tell him he’s fired. Tell him the show’s been entertaining, we’ve loved it, but it is time for us to fight for the idea of America.
And before I close, I want to say this. I’m not embarrassed, I’m not ashamed to tell you that I’m a Christian. (Cheers, applause.) I wasn’t born — I wasn’t raised Christian. It took seven long years for me at the age of 16 to give my life to Christ. I accepted Jesus as my personal lord and savior at Chapel on the Campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Applause.) Now, why do I tell you that? We need somebody who’s willing to fight for us. Look, Christians are under physical assault all over the world. Our Christian values are under assault right here at home.
Make no mistake about it. The left wants to take God out of the public square. They want to redefine marriage. Right now, if you give away our nation’s classified secrets, you mishandled classified information, you can run for president. You don’t believe in gay marriage, they lock you up in jail. That’s what’s happening in America today. And we’re not just talking about our Christian values in Louisiana. We’ve been rated the most pro-life state six years in a row. (Cheers, applause.) We have fought to get rid of common core.
And we understand this, and I’ll say this slowly so even the left understands this — (laughter) — the United States of America did not create religious liberty. Religious liberty created the United States of America, and it’s why we’re here today. (Cheers, applause.) Folks, I’m not just here to ask you join a silly campaign. I’m here to ask you to join a cause. It is time for us to believe in America again. When I was young, my dad taught me that Americans could do anything. I believed him then, and I believe him now.
I think you believe that in your heart as well, but I think you’ve been frustrated these last seven years. I think you’ve been frustrated. You want to believe in the idea of America, you want to know that our best days are ahead of us, you want to know that we continue to live in an exceptional country built on unique Judeo-Christian values and traditions. You want to know that we continue to live in the greatest country in the history of the world. And I know we do. And I know we can get the idea of America back.
But I also know this: Four more years on this pathway we will not recognize this country. We don’t have a moment to waste. We don’t have an ounce of energy to waste. I’m asking you to believe again. I’m asking you to join our cause. I know I’m willing to give everything I’ve got to save the idea of America. With your help and with God’s grace — we can’t do this alone — but with your help and with God’s grace it is not too late for us to rescue the idea of America. Join our cause. It is time to believe again. Let’s take our country back. God bless y’all and thank y’all very much for fighting for the idea of America. (Cheers, applause.)