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Drive-Bys Try to Marginalize Jindal

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The Democrats are trying to tie Bobby Jindal to me in hopes of making him out to be an extremist. That's exactly what Obama was trying to do when he called me out in that meeting with Republican and Democrat leaders in the White House when he said, "Don't listen to Limbaugh." The Obama theory is get rid of the playing field, you know, clear it, don't level it. So yesterday got some great Jindal sound bites, governor of Louisiana, Meet the Press yesterday. David Gregory said, "Let me spend our last couple minutes here with you, Governor Jindal, talk about politics. What is the state of the Republican Party?"

JINDAL: Look, our Republican Party got fired with cause these last two election cycles. We became the party that defended spending, corruption that we never should have tolerated, and we stopped offering relevant solutions to the problems that Americans care about. I think now is the time, it's a great opportunity for Republican governors and other leaders to offer conservative-based solutions to the problems. For example, whether it's the mortgage crisis, how we can help people keep their homes; whether it's the banking crisis, we won't have time to talk about, you know, mark to market and some of the other reforms that could be done; whether it's the stimulus package, the Republican Party has gotta offer conservative alternative solutions. I think our obligation is to work with the president every chance we can, to be bipartisan, we've done that in Louisiana, we've cut taxes six times, reformed ethics. We need to work with the president every chance we can, but on principle, when we disagree with him, we should be unafraid to stand up on principle and to point out our alternative solutions.

RUSH: David Gregory says but, but, but the party has to expand, you believe that if it's going to be successful?

JINDAL: Absolutely. Look, we lost both elections 'cause we got less than 51% of the votes. Obviously we gotta expand. But I don't think we expand by becoming an imitation of the other party. I think we expand by standing on principle for what we believe in. I think that attracts voters. I think that attracts supporters. They may not agree with us on everything, but they'll respect our honesty. Most importantly, they'll respect the results.

RUSH: And he's exactly right. This is why when I interviewed Bobby Jindal for the Limbaugh Letter a year and a half ago or so I immediately thought I was talking to the elected version of the next Ronald Reagan, the closest thing we've got to an elected version of the next Ronald Reagan in the United States today. And he was mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate for McCain, but I don't think he was interested in it at the time, I don't think McCain was, either. But regardless, he's exactly right: stand on principle. It sounds so quaint. When I hear people say that, I get the impression that a lot of Americans laugh. The whole notion of doing the right thing, standing on your principles, that sounds so old-fashioned, so quaint, come on, what do you mean, stand on your principles, isn't going to get anybody anywhere. But it does, particularly shoring up the base of the Republican Party, which needs to happen anyway. But he's exactly right. Conservatism -- we haven't tried it. Do you realize that conservatism has not been articulated by an elected bunch of Republicans or conservatives since 1994? It's been 15 years.

Now, of course conservatism is having problems. But if it's articulated -- national elections particularly -- every time it's tried it works, because it is founded on principle, founded on liberty, founded on freedom, seeing the best in people, the best in the country, wanting to expand opportunity for everybody. It's colorblind, it's sex blind, it's religion blind, all of these things, and it has roots to the founding of the country. Nobody's articulated it. Now, we've talked about the reasons left and right. Most of it is the fact that once these guys get to Washington, they get cowed by the media, the social and political structures there, and even our so-called conservative intelligentsia and the media. We gotta get control of Big Government. The American people want Big Government. We just have to tell 'em we can do it better, we can do it smarter, we gotta go out to the Walmart people, we gotta go after the Hispanics and the other minorities. That's not the way you do it. It's what Jindal is saying, you don't go out as imitators. Here Jindal explains why he is thinking about rejecting the Porkulus money. Gregory says, "Why would you turn down a hundred million dollars for federal unemployment assistance for your state?"

JINDAL: You're talking about temporary federal money that would require permanent change in state law.

GREGORY: It's a tax break.

JINDAL: Well, no. The hundred million dollars we turned down was temporary federal dollars that would require us to change our unemployment laws. That would have actually raised taxes on Louisiana businesses, we, as a state, would have been responsible for paying for those benefits after the federal money disappeared.

RUSH: So he's looked at the bill, he's figured out this is no benefit to us, this is simply the Democrat federal government getting its hooks back in the state of Louisiana. Then Gregory said, "The Democrat senator from Louisiana, Mary Landrieu, says that you're wrong. This is how it was reported in the Times-Picayune Saturday. 'Senator Landrieu disputed Jindal's interpretation and said the new unemployment benefits are designed to be temporary.'"

JINDAL: If you actually read the bill, I know it was a thousand pages, and I know they got it, you know, at midnight or hours before they voted on it, if you actually read the bill there's one problem with that, the word "permanent" is in the bill. It requires the state to make a permanent change in our law. Within three years, the federal money is gone, we've got now a permanent change in our laws, we have to pay for it, our businesses pay for it. I don't think it makes sense to be raising taxes on Louisiana businesses during these economically challenging times. My job is to represent Louisiana's taxpayers. It makes no sense for us to take temporary federal dollars and create permanent state obligations.

RUSH: What he's talking about here, new employment rules that would cost the state more because they would expand unemployment compensation rules after getting a hundred million dollars in temporary federal money. And he doesn't want the federal government writing unemployment rules in his state. And he doesn't want to have to raise taxes on businesses in the middle of a recession, which Obama plans on doing anyway at the federal level. So that's Bobby Jindal, and he will be delivering the response to Obama's quasi-State of the Union show tomorrow night, and I guess that starts around nine o'clock. Obama chose tomorrow night for a reason. That's the night American Idol is on. Largest TV viewing night of the week. He forced Fox to move American Idol to Wednesday night. So how many dingleberry dunkheads are going to be tuning in to watch American Idol and all of a sudden there's Obama and his quasi-state of the union?

END TRANSCRIPT

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