HH: From Scott Walker, I go to another sitting governor, Governor Bobby Jindal. Welcome back, Governor Jindal. You are quite in the news today for throwing hammers at Donald Trump. Did you expect the blowback that’s coming?
BJ: Hugh, it is great to be on the air with you. Absolutely. Look, I just said what everybody’s been thinking, but has been too afraid to say. Somebody had to say it. And for those that missed the speech at the National Press Club, I basically said I like the idea of Donald Trump. I like the idea of a D.C. outsider. I like the idea of somebody who doesn’t care about political correctness, says things folks are afraid to say. I like his use of Reagan’s theme of making America great again. His diagnosis of the professional political class in D.C. as incompetent and full of nonsense is exactly right. His prescription was wrong. His prescription was that Donald Trump is the answer. The reality is he’s also full of nonsense. The idea is great, the truth is worse than the idea. The truth is absurd. He’s a carnival act. He’s a narcissist. He’s an egomaniac. There’s no substance there. And Hugh, the reason this is so important, we have got a once in a lifetime opportunity not only to win this election, but to apply our conservative principles. We must not waste it. Conservatives need to ask themselves, are we going to trust our proven, conservative principles? Or are we going to trust a man who only believes in himself? That’s the only thing he believes in.
HH: Now Governor Jindal, before I turn to the Iran deal, and that’s what I want to get to, the Rolling Stone article about Donald Trump says his central claim is he’s not them. And he’s got 34% of the vote, according to the latest CNN poll today. That’s a lot of people What do you say to Trump supporters who hear only you criticizing the guy they have come to believe embodies their anger at a dysfunctional governmental elite?
BJ: Look, I enjoyed the show, and I agree that we need to fire the political class in D.C. We don’t need folks with a permanent governing class with their own set of rules that doesn’t apply to the rest of us. The problem of Trump, you can’t even argue policy with this guy. He makes up everything on the fly. He tells us his health care plan is going to be fabulous, his tax plan will be really, really terrific. He doesn’t believe in limited government. He’s told us that. From socialized medicine to tax increases, he’s got no problem with top down big government. His only problem with Washington is that he’s not running it. He’s not a Democrat. He’s not a Republican. He’s not an independent. He’s not a liberal. He’s not a moderate. He’s not a conservative. He’s not for anything. He’s not against anything. Donald Trump is for Donald Trump. So my message to those voters is they’re absolutely right to be frustrated with D.C. and both parties. I think the Republicans are sometimes worse. You get honest socialists in the Democratic party. You’ve got lying conservatives in the Republican party. Hugh, that’s a heck of a choice. At least the Democrats fight for their beliefs. Our side won’t even fight. They give up. They give up on Planned Parenthood, they give up on Iran, they give up on Obamacare, they give up on amnesty. So I get the frustration, and we need, but here’s, our country is slipping away in front of us, and the Democrats have giftwrapped this election for us. They’ve nominated their weakest candidate running the worst campaign I’ve seen. We’d better not blow this opportunity. It’s not just for the Republican Party, it is for our country. The idea of America is slipping away. $18 trillion dollars of debt, Planned Parenthood tearing apart babies, a President seeming bent on helping our enemies instead of our allies. It is time to rescue the idea of America. Donald Trump’s not the way to do that.
HH: Now coming up, I have Chairman Thornberry of the House Armed Services Committee. I’ll talk to him about whether or not the government ought to shut down. But what do you think is the impact of $100 billion dollars flowing to General Soleimani, the Quds Forces and the Mullahs?
BJ: No, Hugh, here, look. First of all, talk about exporting instability. So you’ve got, the General was obviously seen recently in Iraq. He has been, actually, now there are stories about more Iranian influence and Russian arms going to Syria to Assad as well. Over $100 billion dollars to the largest sponsor of terrorism, state sponsor of terrorism. Hamas and Hezbollah must be rejoicing at this deal. We, our American policy has been not to negotiate with terrorists. This President not only negotiates with terrorists, he negotiates badly. And this is going to simply allow Iran to continue to export their instability, whether it’s in Yemen or next door, whether it’s Syria, the whole region. No wonder our allies, Sunni and other, but our Sunni allies in particular, as well as Israel, are very worried about Iran’s ambitions and the greater influence. This deal, above and beyond the fact we’re not even talking about the fact this puts them on the path to be a nuclear power. Talk about an existential threat to the region, what you don’t hear this President say, Pakistan, I believe, is in a position to sell their nuclear capabilities to the Saudis, the Egyptians, the Turks. We’ll see if it happens, but don’t think this is the end. This is the start of what could be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Talk about a very, very bad deal for the region and for America.
HH: Now Governor Jindal, you faced some crises when the Gulf oil spill was underway, when hurricanes have threatened. You know what life and death means. Here’s a big picture question for you. The American people are looking at the show, and on the Republican side, the worst political rhetoric I’ve ever seen has arrived earliest of any political season. On the Democratic side, the leading contender should be indicted for handling of classified information. Joe Biden is sort of ambling up and ambling around, and Bernie Sanders is a throwback socialist of failed European policies. What about the possibility that the entire American people give up on politics?
BJ: Well, Hugh, just for a second, and this is a very important question, but just for a second, their leading candidate is now a socialist. Bernie Sanders is now ahead of Hillary in some of these polls. Look, that’s not a criticism. That’s what he calls himself. I mean, at least he’s honest. I mean, Obama and Hillary aren’t any better in their policies, and I agree with you, if a private in the army mishandled the classified information in the way that she has, look, there wouldn’t be a double standard. They wouldn’t get away with just an apology. There’d be real consequences. But back to your question, I think the American people are frustrated. I think it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t seem to matter who they vote for. Nothing changes in D.C. But we’re at a tipping point. Look, the left is trying to turn the American dream into the European nightmare. They are taking us down the path of socialism. It is not too late to get our country back, and I think this is an opportunity for a conservative resurgence and rebirth. It’s not about the Republican Party. It’s got to be about America. And so my message to those voters is we can’t give up on America. We can’t give up on the idea of America. This idea has created more wealth than any other civilization in the history of the world. It has done more for the defenseless, and to fight for freedom than any other civilization. Yes, these are frustrating times, but the way to fight back is not to give up. It’s to elect folks that will actually do what they said they were going to do. We can’t seem to find those in D.C. today. One thing I think Trump was right about, it’s time to fire the lot. I wouldn’t replace them with Donald Trump, but it is time to fire this lot.
HH: So Lincoln and Douglas went at it for three hours at a time, mano-mano, and we are going to be at the Reagan Library with two debates that will go on for a total of, you know, three and a half, four hours. What to the American people really want in the political conservation, Governor Jindal?
BJ: What I believe they want is they want somebody that at least, two things. One, I think we need to shrink the government economy before it swallows up the American economy. I’m the only one who’s done that. All these folks running for president, you’ve got nine governors, current or former governors, not one of them has shrunk the size of government except for me. They’re looking for somebody who understands the government’s getting too big, too expensive, too intrusive. We’ve got math deniers in D.C. They pretend we can borrow over $18 trillion dollars without consequence. They pretend this is a recovery. We’ve got 2% growth. We’ve got more people on food stamps than ever before, a record low participation rate in the workforce. So first, they want somebody who’s going to grow the American economy, not the government economy, not worry about all the perks of those that have special privileges that are in the elected class. Secondly, they want somebody who’s going to take on the entrenched political interest in both parties. And I think they’re angrier with McConnell and Boehner at times than they are with Obama and Pelosi and Reid. At least Pelosi, Reid and Obama are fighting for their socialist beliefs. They’re fighting for what they believe in. They did everything they could to cram Obamacare down our throats. I don’t want our side to break the Constitution and break the law, but I want our side to fight, Hugh, and I think there’s a lot of frustration that our guys give up before it starts. Now they don’t, Mitch McConnell recently said we can’t even defund Planned Parenthood. After those barbaric videos, if we can’t get that done, what is the point of the Republican Party? We defunded them in Louisiana. Obama is suing us. They’re joining the lawsuit with Planned Parenthood. We’re going to keep fighting. We’re not going to let them intimidate us. That’s the kind of backbone we’re looking for in D.C.
HH: Governor Bobby Jindal, always a pleasure, see you on Wednesday night, Governor.
End of interview.