Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was my guest in the first hour of Thursday’s show.
HH: Joined by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Governor Jindal, I know you want to take the opportunity to congratulate Ohio State on its national championship game, which they began the road in the Sugar Bowl.
BJ: You know, Ohio State fans spent plenty of money in New Orleans. I’m certainly grateful for that. But as a long, longtime LSU fan, you and I have talked college football before. I know you’re a rabid Buckeye fan just like I’m a rabid Tiger fan. And it just, it wasn’t the SEC’s year this year. After so many great years, this just wasn’t our year.
HH: All right, now to the serious stuff. First of all, news report, breaking news, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has died as of five minutes ago. Yemen’s government has collapsed, the Houthis have sort of aligned with Iran are in charge there now. And our ambassador to Iraq said we have killed 6,000 ISIS fighters. Governor Jindal, do you believe that last claim?
BJ: Well look, I don’t have any basis for knowing where they get those numbers. What worries me about this administration, you just identified some very significant voids and potential for instability in a very chaotic region. what worries me about this administration’s foreign policy is that remember, this is the president who said we’re going to lead from behind. This was the president who, which is not leading at all, by the way, this is the president, after ISIS beheaded the first American journalist, came out and said we need to contain and expel them, which is utter nonsense. We need to hunt them down and kill them. This is the president who, under his foreign policy leadership, our friends don’t trust us, our enemies don’t fear us. And what I really worry about, Hugh, what I really worry about in the Middle East is his negotiations with Iran, because if he allows Iran on his watch to become a nuclear power, the Saudis, Turkey and Egypt will be the very next countries. They’ll either purchase it from Pakistan, or otherwise get their hands on nuclear weapons. Think about the threat that poses, the existential threat that poses to Israel, our European allies, and fundamentally to the United States. These are the fruits of a foreign policy that doesn’t believe in American strength and American exceptionalism and American leadership. We’re now reaping the product, the fruits of what he has sown.
HH: Now Governor Jindal, King Abdullah, a longtime ally, we don’t know what’s coming next. That’s always a little bit very, very difficult to figure out. But we do know that General al-Sisi, who is now President al-Sisi, gave a pretty courageous speech in Cairo at the leading Islamic university. Then he attended the Coptic Christmas. Do you think it’s time for this administration to step up and stand beside General al-Sisi, President al-Sisi?
BJ: Absolutely. Look, his comments about, at the very least, we need to recognize the positive moves he has made in terms of his comments about the need for Islam to take on radical Islamists. And look, in Egypt, has played an increasingly constructive role in not only cracking down on the radical Islamists at home, but also trying to prevent them from exporting their terror to Israel. And you listen to his remarks, here was what was striking to me, Hugh, because I gave a speech in London where I talked about the need to go after radical Islamic terrorists. You don’t hear our president using that kind of language. He doesn’t like to say Islamic. He doesn’t like to say radical Islamic. He doesn’t like to say terrorist. In his State of the Union, I wished he had spent more time truly describing the enemy that we face. At least in Egypt, the leadership understands the danger posed by the Muslim Brotherhood. They understand the danger posed by radical Islamist terrorist. And at least you have a Muslim leader willing to confront his fellow people in saying we’ve got to call them out. And that’s what I said in London. I made it clear that Muslim leaders need to go out there and not just condemn acts of violence, but condemn these terrorist, these murderers and say they’re not martyrs, they’re not going to enjoy a reward in the afterlife, but rather, they’re going straight to hell. It’s not enough just to condemn violence in general terms. You have to condemn the individual perpetrators, these radical terrorist murdering thugs.
HH: Now Governor Jindal, you did catch heat for talking about no-go zones. Mark Steyn was just on the show with me before you came on. He referenced areas in the East End on Commercial Road. He talked about the so-called Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets. He talked about Canadian Jews being stoned on Holocaust Memorial Day. He talked about neighborhoods in Birmingham. And then he talked about specific neighborhoods in Sweden and France. What was the intent of the reporter, do you think, in going after you for a Tube stop name?
BJ: Well look, here’s the reality. The left wants to pretend like this problem doesn’t exist. And you hear it every day from real live people in the UK and in France. You had a local police chief there. And CNN itself had documented this. You’ve got Ambassador Bolton has documented dozens of supporting evidence and example of this. It’s not a mystery to people who live in those countries. There absolutely are neighborhoods where women are afraid to go without veils, where the police are less likely to go, where some populations are trying to impose Sharia law. You’ve got some populations who don’t want to integrate, don’t want to assimilate, want to create their own culture to overtake our culture. The left has a problem with this out of political correctness. Hugh, I really believe they don’t want to, they don’t want to promote our Judeo-Christian heritage. They don’t want to promote American exceptionalism. They think it’s cultural ignorance. They think it’s somehow insensitive. They think somehow that this is politically incorrect to make, to point out these obvious truths. They don’t like America as a melting pot. I think that’s nonsense. I think…
HH: So you’re standing by your no-go zone comments?
BJ: Absolutely, and I think what’s dangerous is if we don’t insist on assimilation, we’re going to see, we don’t have them, yet, but we are going to see no-go zones. We are likely to see them in America, just like you’ve had them in Europe, if we don’t insist on assimilation, if we don’t insist on saying to people if you want to come to America, come to be Americans, you have to embrace our values. That means freedom of self-expression, self-determination, freedom of religious liberty, freedom of speech. We are a majority Christian nation, Hugh, but we don’t insist on anybody becoming a Christian. There’s no discrimination if you’re not. But you do have to absorb and respect our values. Here’s what we need to do. We need to insist on English as the official language, we need to insist on teaching our kids civics in school about American exceptionalism and our Western, our Judeo-Christian values, and we need to insist, I think we need to stop all this hyphenated-Americans, these African-Americans, Indian-Americans, Irish-Americans. We’re all Americans. And we should just say once and for all, we’re not going to have folks coming to our country unless they want to be Americans.
HH: Now Governor Jindal, on Tuesday, former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, was on the program with me, and I asked him what his reaction would be if the Supreme Court strikes down state marriage amendments limiting marriage to one woman and one man. And he counseled look, that doesn’t mean it’s so. The Supreme Court doesn’t make the law, quasi-nullification theory about which I said you know, that’s not really how we do it. What would your reaction be to a Supreme Court decision striking down and opening the way for same sex marriage in all 50 states?
BJ: Well, a couple things. First, let’s certainly hope that doesn’t happen, because we in Louisiana, we’ve got in our state constitution, marriage is between a man and a woman, by the way, enacted at a time when we had a Democratic governor and a Democratic majority in the house and the senate. It was enacted pretty easily, by the way.
HH: But the Supreme Court strikes that down, what’s your advice going to be to your office holders in the state and the county clerks?
BJ: Well look, I’m all for, and I know that folks in D.C., Ted Cruz and others, have talked about amending the Constitution if that’s what we need to do to get the Court out of this business, and out of trying to redefine marriage. I’m all for it.
HH: But that would be down the road. If the Court strikes it down, will the county clerks in Louisiana be obliged, in your view of the law, to go ahead and issue those marriage licenses?
BJ: Well look, let’s see the ruling. I don’t want to start talking about hypotheticals. Right now, our federal judge in New Orleans has actually upheld. We’ve got one of the few federal judges that’s actually upheld our state law, our state constitution. I don’t, I hope, and I don’t think, the Supreme Court will go that far in throwing out something that was so overwhelmingly supported by the people of Louisiana. Let’s actually wait and see what the ruling says before we decide how we’re going to respond. But I would hope and pray that they would respect the will of the people and the tradition and the history of the institution of marriage.
HH: Last quick question, Governor Jindal. You’ve got Rick Perry and yourself, and Governor Walker, and Governor Huckabee, and Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz and Rand Paul all wanting the Evangelical vote in Western Iowa. Who’s going to win that fight?
BJ: Well look, my advice to voters is first, the more, the merrier. I hope that more people end up running, and we’re still praying about our decision, the better, because I hope voters can vote for somebody instead of voting against somebody. And the good news is I think in this Republican primary, they are likely to have some very, very good choices. I think open debate is a great thing.
HH: Governor Bobby Jindal, a pleasure to talk to you.
End of interview.