Governor Bobby Jindal joined me on the show Thursday:
HH: So pleased to welcome back Governor Bobby Jindal, now a declared candidate for president, the governor of Louisiana. Governor Jindal, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show.
BJ: Hugh, thank you for having me back on the phone. Great to talk to you.
HH: Well, I just had lunch with an old colleague of yours, Congressman John Campbell, who will be sitting in for me next week when I am on vacation. He said to say hello to you, and I said I would. But I also told him I had to ask you about this debate, which has divided the Republican field between the necessity of ending the filibuster or keeping it, should the filibuster stand in the way of the complete repeal of Obamacare. And I told him I was interested in Governor Jindal’s answer since he had served in the legislature as well as an executive. What do you think about that debate?
BJ: Well look, the Democrats used every trick available to pass Obamacare. You remember they used reconciliation even after they lost their 60th vote. I’m all for doing whatever it takes to get rid of Obamacare. And if getting rid of the filibuster is the way that we get rid of Obamacare, I’m for it. We’ve got to get rid of this law. I think it’s doing that much damage to our economy. The health care, Hugh, let’s be honest, Obamacare is another step towards socialism. It’s another step toward more government dependence. I’m all for getting rid of it. And if we have to get rid of the filibuster to get rid of it, I’m all for it.
HH: Now Senators Graham and Cruz, who’ve been on since this question arose on this program said absolutely not, we would end up with cap and trade. We would have ended up with any number of house of horrors results. What’s your response to them then?
BJ: Well look, I am absolutely for slowing down the Congress. I think the founding fathers did not want, I’m not pointing the current Senate on the founding fathers, but I don’t think they wanted government to be doing all the things that the federal government is doing today. And philosophically, am I for slowing down Congress and slowing down the Senate? Absolutely. But if the specific question is if I’m in the White House, and we’ve got the votes in the House and the Senate to get rid of Obamacare, and the only way to do is to get rid of the filibuster, sign me up. I am not willing to save the filibuster in order, as a sacrifice of being able to get rid of Obamacare. I think Obamacare is such a bad law, we need to do away with it. Now I also think we need a part-time Congress. I think the Congress, I think our federal government has grown far too vast in scope and size. I half-jokingly say we should pay them a per diem for every day they stay outside of D.C. So I understand those that want to slow Congress down. I get that. And I don’t want cap and trade, and I don’t want card check and all those other things that could happen. But if this is a way to get rid of Obamacare, let’s get rid of it.
HH: But if our country has truly gone socialist, they won’t want to. And today, you tweeted out, this very day, “Bernie Sanders is an honest Democrat who freely admits that he believes in socialism, and secondly, his honesty and transparently is seen as a refreshing change in a Democratic primary marked by consistent Clinton scandal and deception.” So Jindal’s out there pumping up Bernie Sanders?
BJ: Hugh, at least he’s honest about it. Look, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and the other Democrats in D.C., they’re for socialism. They just, they’re not as honest as Bernie is. Did you honestly believe we would live to see the day when a guy, an honest to goodness socialist is running for president and doing well? 10,000 people in Wisconsin to come and hear him speak, is gaining on Hillary in the polls? This shows you how radical the Democratic Party is. Look, the President went to the Catholic Help Association to defend, make a “moral case” for Obamacare. Hugh, he’s making the moral case for government dependence, for socialism. He is, it is immoral to spend money we don’t have. It’s immoral to lie to the American people to pass this bill. It’s immoral to put people in an outdated, inefficient Medicaid program. At least Bernie’s honest about it. I disagree with socialism. I think we’ve got to rescue the American dream from becoming the European nightmare. And Hugh, I worry that Greece and Puerto Rico are our future if we don’t get our act together. There’ll be nobody to bail out America, nobody left to help us. And so now we’ve got to turn away from socialism. Give Bernie the props for at least being honest. At least he’s saying what Hillary will not say, but they’re both socialists. The only difference is Bernie’s being honest about it.
HH: Let me ask you as well, Governor Jindal, I haven’t talked to you since the Supreme Court decisions in Obamacare and the marriage cases. What’s your reactions to those decisions? And how would you pick justices?
BJ: Well, both of these are just absolute travesties. So on the Obamacare decision, according to Scalia, he’s exactly right. Words no longer have meaning. In the marriage case, according to Chief Justice Roberts, they are not following the Constitution. You’ve got a Supreme Court not following the law, not following the Constitution, not reading a dictionary. And Obamacare, the debate is not over. I know the President had a victory celebration. The reality is that of course, Democrats are trying to spike the football. This is a very bad law that is driving up health care costs, decreasing choice. It’s making the federal government choose which insurance benefits you can buy, and you have to buy under the threat of law. This is a bad law that needs to be repealed and replaced, and I’m the only candidate that has offered a detailed plan on how to do that. On the marriage decision, I don’t care. You know, an earthly court doesn’t change my view of marriage. As a Christian, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I signed an executive order back in May protecting the religious freedom rights of the people and businesses of Louisiana saying the state will not discriminate or sanction them for having their sincerely-held religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman. The ACLU is now suing us over this, the ACLU that was for religious freedom before they were against it. In terms of how I would pick justices, it’s pretty simple. I think we need judges that actually want to apply the Constitution. If they want to make the law, they should run for Congress. Hugh, one of my frustrations is that liberals feel free to nominate true liberal justices that will engage in judicial activism and make laws from the bench. Conservatives feel this restraint that we’ve got to nominate judges that have never written, never made a ruling, that we pretend like they’re not conservatives. And that’s how you get the Kennedys and even the Roberts and the Souters on the Court. You want more Scalias, if you want more Alitos, I think we need to be willing to say we are nominating conservatives who will read the Constitution. We’re willing to defend them and vote for them. There’s nothing wrong with judges that have track records and scholarly writing.
HH: Now Governor Jindal, the Chief Justice is an old colleague of mine from the White House, and you lumped him in with Justice Souter there, and I want to rise to his defense. You may not like the Obamacare decision, but you must like Citizens United and the marriage dissent and Heller and all these, and lots of other good decisions from the Chief.
BJ: I do. I do, but on two occasions now, he has rewritten the law to save Obamacare from itself. And I think he becomes a very good politician. I just, you’re right. Look, I agree with the 5-4 ruling, and I’ll add a couple of others. I agree with the ruling for the Greene family, another very important religious liberty case when it comes to the Obama administration trying to force them to pay for abortions for their employees.
HH: Hobby Lobby. Yup, Hobby Lobby.
BJ: Yeah, the Hobby Lobby case. I wish that would have been a 9-0 decision. But the Obamacare decisions, you know, a lot of fancy language in this last decision to basically say we’re not going to read what the language itself says. To me, it was black letter. It was plain that they’d made a very clear distinction between state operated versus federal exchanges. The Court ignored that. And in the previous ruling, he called the mandate a tax, something that either the plaintiffs or the defendants agreed with. He actually came up with another rationale.
HH: Oh, I understand the criticism. I just wanted to make sure we didn’t put him in the David Souter category. I’ve got to ask you, Governor, before I let you go. The 4th of July is upon us. There are warnings everywhere, including on this show yesterday from Mike Pompeo. As the chief executive of a state, are you alarmed about the 4th? And what are you telling people to do?
BJ: Look, I’m going to personally, I’ll be out there in parades and in different 4th of July activities. I’ll actually be in Iowa on the 4th, and in New Hampshire on the 5th at a picnic. I encourage people to live their lives. Obviously, law enforcement has to do their jobs, do everything they can to protect us. We can’t run scared. We’ve got to, I wish this President were doing a better job declaring war on radical Islamic terrorism and hunting them down and killing them. We’ve got to live our lives. Obviously, people should use common sense. They should be alert. But let’s live our lives and let’s give thanks. We live in the greatest country in the history of the world, despite having the most incompetent, most ideological president in our country’s history in the White House right now.
HH: Governor Bobby Jindal, have a great 4th of July in Iowa, and 5th of July in New Hampshire, always a pleasure to talk to you, Governor.
BJ: Thanks, Hugh, great talking to you as well.
End of interview.