Des Moines, IA – Governor Bobby Jindal (R-Louisiana) told Caffeinated Thoughts in an interview on Saturday after speaking to the delegates at the Republican Party of Iowa state convention that he is considering running for President in 2016.
Jindal, 43, is prevented by term limits from running for reelection in Louisiana in 2015. Jindal said “We are considering (a presidential run). It is something we are thinking about, praying about. We won’t make a decision until certainly after the November elections.”
He said he wants to focus right now on seeing Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Congressman Steve King (R-IA) reelected, as well as, helping Joni Ernst win Iowa’s U.S. Senate race along with 36 governors races and helping Republicans win the U.S. Senate.
“When it comes to 2016 and we’ll make our decision and again we are thinking about it and praying about it, and seeing if we can make a difference there. One of the things I see with whoever wins we need big change in this country. It’s not about incremental change and I mean that in both parties. I think the big divide right now is between Washington, DC and the rest of the country,” Jindal added. “Too often in DC they tell us you can’t do those things. You can’t repeal Obamacare, they tell us you can’t balance the budget, you can’t cut spending, you can’t change the entitlement programs, you can’t grow the economy. That is nonsense. I just spoke to the convention here and I said we need a wholesale takeover, a hostile takeover, and I think that is what the country is looking for. Whoever our candidates are in 16 we need principled conservatives who are talking about specific policy changes and big changes to get our country back on the right track.”
Jindal last week vetoed a bill that he noted opponents said would enshrine Louisiana’s participation in Common Core and PARCC. The bill just added another year to a delay of rules approved by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved in 2012 regarding the implementation of the Common Core.
Jindal who touted his education reforms in Louisiana during his remarks has recently come out in opposition to the Common Core State Standards. After affirming that he is in favor of high standards he said, “What I am against and what troubles me about Common Core and the reason I not only want to get Louisiana out of Common Core, but out of PARCC, out of the whole thing… We don’t need a federal takeover of education. The reality is that the federal government never really had, and shouldn’t have, that role in education.”
“In Louisiana we have no state approval of curriculum, we have no state approval of textbooks, as I said to the convention, I believe in trusting parents. I want the dollars to follow the child. I want parents to decide what is the best learning environment for their student, their child. Maybe it is a parochial school, maybe it is a Christian school, maybe it is a traditional public school, a charter school, online program, maybe it is a homeschool. We don’t need a one-size fits all approach, every child learns differently. My concern with Common Core is that not only is it a federal intrusion but you know for certain that once the federal government sets the standards then the curricula, the textbooks, everything is to be shaped around that,” Jindal added.
Jindal said that he’s also nervous about a federal involvement in education based upon his recent experience with Attorney General Eric Holder suing Louisiana in order to stop their scholarship program. “We have seen the overreach of the federal government. We have seen this federal government get involved. At the end of the day it really comes down to trusting parents, trusting locals, we don’t need the federal government making this decision,” Jindal told Caffeinated Thoughts.
He reasserted that as Governor he believes he has the authority and power to get Louisiana out of Common Core, and that he was going to use his power to do that. He also rejected the U.S. Department of Education’s threat of federal money and ESEA waivers as a paper tiger. He said they put up false constructs. He noted they insinuate that if you are not for Common Core, you are against rigor and quality standards, which he said is not the case.
Caffeinated Thoughts asked his opinion of the standards outside of their federal involvement, for instance its ability to help prepare students for STEM fields. “I would invite any parent that has questions about Common Core, ask you kids to bring home their math. Ask them to bring home their Common Core math homework and help them do just a couple of sheets. Look my kids are in elementary school… pick a grade level, work through this math. Forget the theory, forget the philosophy, forget the debate just work through these math sheets and then let’s talk about is this really the best way to teach our kids. I think this is inevitable when you have a one-size fits all approach,” Jindal answered. “I have nothing against a local school that decides on their own they want to do this curriculum that is fine by me. I’m not saying they can’t do it. What I am saying is choice and competition is the way we grow our economy. What is ironic to me is that we believe in choice and competition in almost every aspect of our lives. If the government were to come to us tomorrow and say we can only buy one kind of jeans we would rebel against that.”
He said that for some reason the left is ok with choice except in the arenas of healthcare and education. They don’t think that citizens know best. “This is a symptom of a much bigger problem,” Jindal said.
He pointed out that Republicans can’t just attack the left and ignore when Republicans stray. “As conservatives we need to remember we’re just not against stuff from the other side when they are in charge. We need to be against the abuse of government power when it is our guys in charge too. Sometimes we forget that sometimes Republicans make that mistake thinking that when we’re in charge that Republicans earmarks are better than Democratic earmarks and Republicans government programs… we have got to be consistent. If it is not right for them to do it, it is not right for us to do it either,” Jindal stated.
Jindal during the convention speech touted Louisiana as being the most prolife state in the nation. He signed the “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act” last week in Baton Rogue. Caffeinated Thoughts asked what the consequences of that bill will be. “What the law literally does is that these abortion clinics that are providing these services their doctors have to have admitting privileges (to hospitals) within 30 miles. What we are saying is that we are going to treat them the same way we treat other outpatient surgical facilities. It is about safety and standards. Why would you want to hold them to a lower standard quite frankly. If there are complications they should have admitting privileges at a hospital that can help that patient,” Jindal noted.
“There is an overall pattern, an overall trend in our state, and certainly we’ve championed this as I have been governor of trying to pass and approve laws that protect our unborn, innocent human life. I’m proud that year after year we are ranked the most prolife state in the country. It is a reflection of who we are, our values, our priorities,” he added.
LifeNews.com reports that Planned Parenthood complained that the Act Jindal signed could have the effect of closing three of the five abortion clinics in the state.
He also pointed out that he recently signed a bill, that was authored by a Democratic legislator, that cracks down on human trafficking. He lamented that this issue doesn’t get enough attention. “This to me is a huge, huge problem in our society and people tend to think of it as – ‘That is happening overseas. That is happening in some third world country, maybe it happens in eastern Europe, maybe it happens in Asia…’ It does happen in American, and tragically is is happening in Louisiana,” Jindal said.
He said the bills recently passed address the problem by setting up special courts, providing protections to victims so they are the ones arrested, going after the assets of those who perpetrate trafficking rings, stiffening the penalties, and making offenders register as sex offenders.
“This is not a victimless crime, it is happening in our back yard,” he added. “Unfortunately it is happening in a lot of states with our interstates and materials moving across state lines. Unfortunately it is happening along those interstate corridors as well.”
Those bills are part of the Jindal administration’s initiatives to protect human life and protect families.
Jindal in September of 2012 participated in the No Wiggins Tour an effort to oust Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins by voting no on his retention that year. Caffeinated Thoughts asked his thoughts on the trend of federal judges overturning state constitutional amendments and laws defining marriage.
“This shows you the importance of the November elections. We don’t need this President putting more liberal judges on the bench,” Jindal said. “Some of the judges are so… they actually admit, they actually tell you when you listen to their speeches and you read their writings they sound like legislators. They talk about taking opinion polls, and by the way, sometimes you hear it even at the Supreme Court level. We had a case even in Louisiana where we were trying to put to death, this awful, awful criminal who raped a young girl and just brutally, brutally abused her. Unfortunately the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that we couldn’t do that. That it wasn’t constitutional that we couldn’t do the death penalty in that type of case.”
“What was striking when you sometimes read these court cases and they say ‘well the majority of public opinion.’ Wait a minute – why are they taking public opinion polls? That is not their job. Sometimes you hear them referencing international legal standards. Wait a minute, my understanding of their job is that they are to be looking at the U.S. Constitution. What are doing looking at that… I don’t really care what the United Nations or other countries say on issues such as this. They are really supposed to be looking at the Constitution and what the Founding Fathers intended,” Jindal added.
He said that the electorate needs to vet candidates on the types of judges they would approve and what their understanding of the law is.
“It is important, whether you are a lawyer or not, to understand what it means for the courts to actually apply the Constitution as opposed for them just to create new laws or to read things and just decide they are going to contradict what the other two branches of government did. We’ve gotten away from these three separate but equal branches of government and instead we’ve got these activist judges who are overreaching. We have to recognize the problem for what it is,” Jindal added.
He emphasized the importance of elections and their impact on judicial confirmations because sometimes Constitutional amendments will correct the problem, and other times federal judges will just overrule them.
You can watch the entire interview below: