Tags: Bobby Jindal

A Completely Different Sense of the GOP’s ‘First Tier’


From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

American Politics Should Not Require So Much Travel to Iowa in Winter.

A great big crowd of conservatives met in Des Moines, Iowa, this weekend to watch aspiring presidents kiss the ring of Rep. Steve King.

Okay, that’s a metaphor, but you know each contender in town intensely hoped to leave a lasting impression with the socially-conservative, staunchly anti-illegal immigration congressman. Our John Fund declares, “The field this cycle is the most open and competitive I’ve ever seen.”

Our Eliana Johnson was there and brought back this key takeaway:

The love affair between the Iowa voters and Ted Cruz is going strong. 

The Texas senator, pacing across the stage at the Iowa Freedom Summit in a tan jacket and slacks, praised the state’s “unique and special role in the political process.” Iowa voters, he said, have a responsibility “to scrutinize every candidate for national office, to look them in the eyes and to hold them to account.” 

The tea-party darling urged them to be discerning when presidential contenders begin streaming through the state vaunting their conservative credentials. It helps, of course, that nobody can out-conservative Ted Cruz.

“Every candidate is going to come in front of you and say I’m the most conservative guy who ever lived,” Cruz said. “Well gosh darnit, talk is cheap. One of the most important roles men and women of Iowa will play is to say, ‘Don’t talk, show me.’”

Allow me to offer a completely different grouping of the big names than you’ve seen elsewhere:

First Tier:

Scott Walker: He’s serious and accomplished enough for the “Establishment,” and indisputably conservative enough for the grassroots. The Left threw everything it had at this guy and he’s still going strong. Despite the questions about his charisma, he’s getting rave reviews for his passion in his appearance this weekend.

Marco Rubio: He’s arguably the best communicator in the Republican Party, and the Republican Party desperately needs a good communicator as its nominee.

With rave reviews from Charles Krauthammer and James Pethokoukis, he could end up being the conservative pundits’ favorite choice. Yes, there’s still irritation about the gang of “Gang of Eight” and anti-Senator skepticism to overcome, but he’s speaking about the broad, unifying national theme of American exceptionalism since 2010. Obviously, he offers a fantastic contrast with Hillary.

Rick Perry: The former governor of Texas is likely to be the only re-running candidate who improves upon his past performance. He still has a sterling economic record to point to, he’s been going toe-to-toe with the Obama administration consistently, he’s got enough charm to work on Jimmy Kimmel. This time, he won’t be coming off back surgery, he won’t start late and we’ll see just how much the hipster glasses help.

Bobby Jindal: Yes, he needs to speak slower. Yes, it’s not clear that a style that works in Louisiana will work on the national stage. But he’s a bit like Walker in that he’s amassed an indisputably conservative record while getting things done in two terms. There’s probably not another contender who knows more detail about more policies, and he’s guided his state through some severe challenges – post-Katrina rebuilding, a pair of serious hurricanes, the Deepwater Horizon and the drilling moratorium. What’s more, he’s been fighting the administration on issues like school choice for years and he moves fast when an opportunity opens like the House GOP botching a late-term abortion bill.

Second Tier:

Jeb Bush: Sure, he’ll have the money, and he’ll have the name. But let’s not even get into the immigration, Common Core, business ties or family dynasty issues yet. Republican primary voters, particularly conservative ones, think that the Obama presidency is the worst calamity to hit America in their lifetimes, and fear it is doing permanent damage to the national values, identity, and standing in the world. GOP primary voters are going to want a fighter, and do they think Jeb Bush has been leading the fight against Obama?

Mitt Romney: When people tell Mitt Romney, “Governor, I really wish you had won in 2012,” they’re not saying, “Governor, I think you would have been one of the greatest presidents in our lifetimes.” They’re saying, “Governor, Obama is really, really, really terrible, and electing you would have spared the country a lot of pain.” He’s a good man, but a lot of Republicans are ready to move on to new options. Plus, you know… Gruber.

Chris Christie: If Bush and Romney are both in, you have to wonder how many big donors stick by him. He did better in his Iowa appearance than some might have expected, and he’s undoubtedly going to be a dominant figure in the debates. But he’s positioned himself in opposition to the rest of the party way too often, and you can’t win the GOP nomination from the Jon Huntsman slot, as the Republican nominee most acceptable to the Acela class that can’t stand Republicans.

Rand Paul: He’ll have his dad’s network, and he’s way more compelling than his father was. But there’s a ceiling to Libertarian-minded candidates in the modern Republican Party, and it’s going to be tougher to sell quasi-isolationist non-interventionism as the world blows up and grows even more dangerous in Obama’s final two years in office.

Ted Cruz: He will easily get elected President of Conservative America. The question is whether he can win votes among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who don’t already agree with him. The path to being king-maker may be easier to see than being king.

Mike Huckabee: He will easily get elected President of Socially Conservative America. The problem is that his less jovial analogue, Rick Santorum, tried the same approach in 2012 and you remember where that got him: leverage phenomenal popularity with social conservatives to a win in the Iowa caucuses, concede New Hampshire, don’t do quite as well in South Carolina as you hoped, and then you’re the dog chasing the big-spending frontrunner’s limousine.

Rick Santorum: See above. He’s got the same odds as 2012, except that Huckabee’s competing for the same base of support.

Ben Carson: He’s got buckets of charisma and a dedicated fan base, but some primary voters are going to be wary about him having zero experience in government. Plus… you know.

Carly Fiorina: Whether she is open about it or not, she’s running for vice president, not president. The thing is, the way she tears into Hillary and touts her own accomplishments, she may be a much more serious contender for that slot than most people think right now. For example – did you know she’s with CSIS? Here’s her speech:

We must understand our role in the world – which is to lead – and the nature of our allies and especially, our adversaries.   Like Hillary Clinton, I too have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe.  But unlike her, I have actually accomplished something.  Mrs. Clinton, flying is an activity not an accomplishment.  I have met Vladimir Putin and know that it will take more to halt his ambitions than a gimmicky red “Reset” button.  Having done business in over 80 countries and having served as the Chairman of the External Advisory Board at the CIA, I know that China is a state-sponsor of cyberwarfare and has a strategy to steal our intellectual property.  I know Bibi Netanyahu and know that when he warns us, over and over and over again, that Iran is a danger to this nation as well as to his own, that we must listen.  And unlike Hillary Clinton I know what difference it makes that our Ambassador to Libya and 3 other brave Americans were killed in a deliberate terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9-11 and that the response of our nation must be more forceful that the arrest of a single individual a year later.   

For someone who has never been elected to anything, she’s got a pretty good resume. 

Tags: Jeb Bush , Rick Perry , Scott Walker , Bobby Jindal , 2016 , Marco Rubio

Jindal: Late-Term Abortion Ban ‘Shouldn’t Take a Lot of Political Courage’


House Republicans’ recent pratfall on a late-term abortion bill offers an easy lay-up for any potential GOP presidential candidate seeking to win over pro-life GOP primary voters.

Here’s Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal on Fox News last night, declaring that passing that bill “shouldn’t take a lot of political courage.”

GOV. JINDAL: . . . It shouldn’t take a lot of political courage to stand up and say we are going to end late term abortions in America. America is one of only a handful of countries in the entire world that allows these late-term abortions without restrictions. We elected a conservative Republican majority to stand up for our values. One of those important values is the dignity, the sacredness of innocent human life.

We signed a similar bill here in Louisiana that would end abortions after 20 weeks. It was a bipartisan bill with great bipartisan support. I wish the leadership had had the courage of their convictions. Yesterday they said they were going to bring this bill up for a vote today. They blinked — they didn’t do it. Now they are saying some time in the future. I think it’s a shame. Here we are looking at the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. One small step we could have taken as a country is to join most of the rest of the civilized world and ban late-term abortions.

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Abortion

Jindal on 2016: ‘I’m Not Going to Be Coy, I’m Thinking About Running’


“I’m not going to be coy, I’m thinking about running for president and praying about it,” Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said at a lunch with conservative bloggers today. He added he considers it a mistake for any Republican to spend a lot of time focusing on the 2016 presidential election while there are still midterm elections to be won. Jindal mentioned he had been campaigning for Florida governor Rick Scott, Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton, and North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis.

“We’re big fans of SEC football back home, and everyone likes to ask the coach, ‘Are you going to win the championship this year?’ The answer is always, ‘First, we’ve got to win the game right in front of us right now.’”

He said he doubted he would make any decision until “after the holidays” at the end of the year.

Jindal said that Americans are “hungry for big change, looking for a hostile takeover of D.C..”

“I think we will win [the Senate] in 2014,” Jindal said. “But if we don’t do anything with it, there will be a backlash. We can’t just be the party of ‘no.’”

Jindal unveiled a series of proposals for a national energy policy today. This morning our Eliana Johnson looked at Jindal’s ideas-focused positioning for 2016.

Tags: Bobby Jindal

Jindal: Bloomberg and Holder Are ‘Surprised We Can Tie Our Own Shoelaces’


A particularly delicious segment of Governor Bobby Jindal’s remarks to the NRA Leadership Forum at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this afternoon:

We must not let our opponents redefine what it means to be an American, and what it means to trust in the decision making of individuals. If you want to see their vision for America, just have a conversation with Michael Bloomberg or Eric Holder — if you can stand it, that is.

They think government should pick your soft drink, your snack food, your vices, your home security system, your health insurance, your electricity source, and your children’s school. They think we’re too dumb to order pizza and too dangerous to protect our land.

They take perhaps the most pessimistic view of Americans we have ever seen from national leaders in our history. If you listen to them, you get the feeling they’re surprised we can tie our own shoelaces without government intervention They probably think that’s why we wear cowboy boots. 

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Eric Holder , Mike Bloomberg , NRA Convention 2014

Jindal on Michael Bloomberg: ‘This Guy Could Use Some Humility.’


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who will be speaking twice at the NRA Convention in Indianapolis today, told an amusing story about why he missed a 2006 meeting with the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox: His wife went into unexpected labor with their third child.

The story was a three-fer – a way to remind the audience of his efforts to pass a federal law banning gun confiscation during or after a crisis (inspired by gun confiscation efforts in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, humorous touting of women’s strength and a subtle shout-out to the pro-lifers in the audience.

“My wife and me alone on the bathroom floor, no doctors, no meds for her — I learned a couple of things that night. I learned there’s a reason the good Lord in his infinite wisdom had women be the ones who give birth to babies,” he said with a smile. “If it were up to men, we would never have a baby after the first one of us. I heard the dumbest thing I ever heard a bit after, a friend at church told me, ‘I know exactly what that’s like… I had a kidney stone.’ I didn’t tell that story to my wife. I know that’s not the same!”

Jindal also mentioned what’s likely to be a recurring theme in today’s speeches, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent comment that, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

“In Louisiana, clinging to guns and religion is a good thing – we’ve got both,” he said. “This is a guy who could use his humility, and I think the NRA can be the ones to teach him some humility,”

Tags: Bobby Jindal , NRA , Michael Bloomberg

Jindal: ‘It’s a Mistake to Assume Democrats Will Never Vote for Repeal.’


More from my interview of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal Wednesday, discussing his proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare:

Geraghty: How does your proposal differ from the repeal-and-replace proposal from the Republican Study Committee, or other plans and ideas from Republicans on Capitol Hill?

Jindal: There absolutely are proven concepts that are common in a lot of different conservative plans — lawsuit reform and other elements like that I think are very attractive. But I do think there are some things that are unique about this plan.

One, it’s comprehensive; it does include premium support in Medicare. It does include the global grants for Medicaid. It does include state reforms on certificates of need and provider scope to provide more supply-side competition. It includes the state grants — $100 billion to states — so there’s a strong federalism component.

With the tax equity, by doing the standard deduction, it drives more efficiency in health care.

I also think it’s a good thing that there are conservatives and Republicans talking about health care. I think there needs to be more of that. Unlike the Left, we don’t have to all march behind Obamacare or behind one plan. I think there’s a good thing there’s a competition and a bunch of different ideas. As somebody who spent much of my career in health-care policy, I hope more Republicans will talk about health-care policy.

We intend all of AmericaNext’s products to be “open source code” — we hope folks use it, there’s no pride of authorship. They can cut and paste it, they can borrow it, adapt it, put it in their plan. This is advancing the conservative debate. The president likes to say that there is no alternative to replace Obamacare with — he needs to stop saying that! The reality is there is an alternative. He can debate us on the merits, but there is a substantive, specific alternative.

Compared to Obamacare’s baseline, ours reduces premiums by $5,000. His actually took the previous marketplace and increased it by $2,100 for a family. The reality is, our plan, I believe, actually delivers what he promised back in 2008 better than his plan does. In 2008, he talked about the need to reduce health-care costs, he opposed the mandate when Senator Clinton proposed it, and since ‘08 he’s talked about the need to keep your plan and your doctor. His plan doesn’t do those things. Our plan actually does.

Geraghty: There are some elements of Obamacare that even the most staunch conservatives are wary about repealing entirely – lifetime limits, pre-existing conditions, or things like that. If there are some parts we don’t need to take away, do we really need to repeal the whole thing? Can you do partial repeal?

Jindal: No, we’ve got to repeal it. Take it out by its roots. The whole thing needs to go. This plan gets rid of the tax increases, Medicare cuts, and doesn’t replace those tax increases or Medicare cuts. When it comes to the insurance-market reforms, we give $100 billion to the states with very few strings, except we do tell them that they’ve got to guarantee they’ll provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. You can do that with high-risk pools, reinsurance, there are a lot of ways to do that. But secondly, we also tell them, you’ve got to use these dollars to lower premiums in their marketplace.

I think that one of the mistakes that the Left makes is that it doesn’t trust people. It doesn’t trust local government. The reality is, that if there are good insurance reforms, they’ll be adopted at the state level.

In Louisiana, it is state law, for example, that kids up to 24 can be carried on their parents’ plans. Not every state agrees with that. But the point is that states are in a better position to make these decisions.

[In 2011 Louisiana’s legislature passed, and Jindal signed into law, a bill that allows children to remain on their parents’ plans until age 21, or age 24 if the child is a full-time student, or continuously if the child is disabled.]

A lot of insurance companies said, before the Supreme Court case, that even if Obamacare were struck down, they weren’t going backwards on those provisions anyway. The Left doesn’t want individual consumers to select their own health-care plans; they don’t want states to make these decisions. I think one of the big mistakes of Obamacare is this one-size fits all benefits approach, regulatory approach from the federal government telling us how we buy health insurance.

One of the things that the cross-state sale of insurance will do under our plan is that as states consider these mandates, benefits, or other restrictions, it will force states to be more cognizant of what it does to the premiums. Now you’ll actually have real competition. The Founding Fathers intended for the states to be laboratories of experimentation. Let’s let that work.

Geraghty: So you’re fine with children staying on their parents’ plans until age 24 or 26?

Jindal: I’d say I’m fine with states being able to make that decision. I don’t think the federal government should dictate that decision. Now, different states can make different decisions. What’s happening right now is that states have been shielded from the consequences of their decisions. There isn’t that competitive pressure to reduce costs, reduce mandates or even examine if the costs outweigh the benefits.

If you adopted these reforms, and you empowered individuals to buy their own health care and made it more affordable, it might cause a lot of states to reexamine whether they needed these restrictions and regulations.

Geraghty: President Obama is going to be sitting in the Oval Office until January 2017. As far as he’s concerned, Obamacare is working fine. Occasionally he’ll say he’s willing to listen to ideas to reform Obamacare, but he never gets all that specific about what he wants to reform. Is it realistic to think that anything in your plan can end up on his desk, or that any of it can be signed into law by President Obama? Or is it really just setting up a blueprint for what Republicans could do in 2017?

Jindal: One, I do think you’ve got to win the debate first. We’ve got to have this debate. We have to go out and show that there is a good alternative. But absolutely there are things that can be done. We don’t need to forget that this president forced this bill through with parliamentary maneuvers and on a party-line vote. There’s a lot that can be done. The reality is you’re seeing more and more Democrats running away from this law, especially those facing their own reelections.

I think it’s a mistake to assume Democrats will never vote for repeal, and that Democrats will never vote for different provisions. I think the reality is they’re about to pay a pretty big political price for supporting this bill. You’re going to see more and more Democrats open to this — as they see the bill isn’t doing what they promised it was going to do.

It’s odd to have a president say it’s a good thing to have over two million fewer Americans in the work force. It’s odd for a president to say, “You know what, you’re not going to be able to keep your doctor. Maybe I shouldn’t have said you were going to keep your health care plan.” It’s odd when the president said, very specifically, not vaguely, “I’m going to cut your premiums $2,500″ and the CBO says they’re going to go up $2,100.

I wouldn’t underestimate how many Democrats will start running from this law and looking for opportunities to repeal and replace. I wouldn’t want to negotiate with ourselves and say, “No, we can’t get this done.” But even before we pass this law, we’ve got to win the debate. We’ve got to persuade folks and show them there’s a better way.

Geraghty: Periodically, conservatives will say we really have to separate the employer from health insurance. That way it will be more portable, and easier for people to take their health insurance from one job to another job. It seems that one of the experiences of Obamacare is that people don’t always like having choices, and that in fact a lot of people don’t like to think about health insurance any more than they have to. Your plan pushes in the direction of separating health insurance from employment. Are Republicans ready for a backlash on that aspect?

Jindal: My takeaway from Obamacare is that people do like choices, but they don’t like to be forced to do things they don’t want to do. We do ease away from that job lock by giving people the ability to have a portable deduction. We also do through association plans that can be sold across state lines with ERISA protections to give them more choices. We do make it easier for people to buy their health care through the individual and other marketplaces.

We’re very explicit about this: This is going to be a voluntary and gradual transition. This is not going to be an overnight, dramatic, and forced transition from employer-provided health care. The reality is, folks can continue to get their health care through their employers. This is one of the benefits of making it a standard deduction, as opposed to some of the other alternatives that are out there. You can still get your health care through your employer, and most people probably still will, in the short term. That doesn’t change overnight. But what you have is a gradual transition where now if people change jobs, they can go to the individual market without exhausting COBRA. If they want to buy through their churches or unions or their social membership multi-state clubs, they can do that and get those ERISA protections.

It’ll be easier to buy [Health Savings Accounts], it’s be easier to bring those tax-advantaged accounts with you from place to place.

It’s also going to be easier for employers to provide health care – because now they can contribute to a wellness account on a tax-advantaged basis or an HSA with varying deductibles, or they can allow you to use your savings in your HSA to pay your premiums, which they couldn’t do before.

I think it actually makes it easier for employers who want to continue to provide the health care, but it also makes it easier for folks that are changing jobs or changing states that don’t want to be job-locked.

You may have seen that new study out today from larger employers talking about the thousands of dollars per employee that Obamacare is going to cost them over the next several years. So it’s not just small employers, but big employers are waking up to these costs, too.

Geraghty: I notice you used the term “job lock” twice. I presume you mean staying in a job because you need the health insurance. But I presume you recall Nancy Pelosi lamenting how terrible it was that people getting locked into jobs . . . 

Jindal: I think she was talking about them going and becoming artists or whatever and not working. What I’m saying is that when you change jobs, or move jobs, you should be able to take your health care with you.

Geraghty: Who advised you on this?

Jindal: Chris [Jacobs, policy director for America Next]. A lot of people. We’ve talked with a number of folks — conservative governors and lawmakers and health-care-policy folks. This is something we’ve been working on for a while. But it also comes from my career of thinking about and writing health-care policy. Premium support, for example, goes back to my year on the Medicare commission in the 1990s. I like to remind folks, we’re the ones who came up with the idea of applying premium support to Medicare, and the [center-left think tank Democratic Leadership Council] endorsed it that year. Now the Left likes to call it this radical, fringe idea, but the reality is that this has been something that has been around for several years, and the [American Medical Association], the Mayo Clinic, the Wall Street Journal — several mainstream folks endorsed this concept way back when.

The global grant on Medicaid reform is something I’ve been talking about with governors for quite some time. It’s not just Republican governors, Democratic governors are very frustrated with what they see coming out of [the Center Medicaid Services] and HHS in D.C. When you look at the market reforms, I’ve been talking to folks in the industry, patient-advocacy groups, and asking, “All right, if we were do these things differently, how should we do these things?”

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Obamacare , Senate Democrats , Health Care

Bobby Jindal on Why the GOP Can’t Just Run on Repeal Alone


I had the chance to sit down with Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal earlier today and discuss his proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare. I’ll have more of our discussion transcribed in the near future, but for now, here’s his answer on why he’s introducing a plan, separate from previous GOP congressional plans.

Geraghty: You’re a governor, and you’re introducing a plan to replace and replace a federal law, Obamacare. You’re not in Congress anymore. Lots of folks are going to interpret this, ‘Here comes the rollout for 2016.’ So go ahead. Dissuade the skepticism and cynicism.

Jindal: Simple to get rid of the cynicism in Washington, D.C.! I’d say three things.

One, obviously, the plan is built around several federalism components. So for example, there’s a large role for states and the $100 billion in grants. Secondly, there’s much more flexibility for states in the Medicaid program. When you look at where conservative principles are being applied, they’re being applied at the state level. You see a lot of innovation coming out of the states.

First, I think the plan does build around federalism principles that are consistent with our experiences as Republican governors. Secondly, I said a while ago we’re going to stop outsourcing our brand to D.C. I think it’s incumbent on all Republican leaders to speak up and offer principled conservative solutions to the problems facing our country. I think for too long, people have said, “Oh, health care is a Democratic issue or a liberal issue, same way with education.” I think that’s wrong.

Republicans more often talk about tax policy, foreign policy, defense policy and I think we need to be comfortable talking about health care and education. These are American issues. And so we’re going to be doing more policies out of America Next on education, energy, and other issues. It’s incumbent upon conservatives to make these elections debates of ideas, not about personalities.

Third, I’ve got a particular background in health-care policy, being the [Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals] health secretary, an assistant secretary up here [as the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services], and also the [executive director] of the national bipartisan commission on the future of Medicare. And so this is something I’ve actually got a lot of experience in.

Obamacare is such an important issue in what it’s doing to our health-care system and to our freedoms, it’s an issue we all have to speak out about. As conservatives, we often talk about how there are these big decisions we have to make as a country — whether the debt, taxes, more borrowing, more spending. If we really believe that to be true, we have to have the courage of our convictions and have an informed debate and discussion with the American people and persuade them that there is a different and better way.

There are a lot of smart Republican operatives here in D.C. that would tell you: Just run against Obamacare, don’t offer an alternative, especially with the November elections coming up. That might be good tactical advice, but that’s a lousy way to earn ourselves back into a governing majority. I think if we want the ability to govern, we need to tell people what we would do if we were given that power. That’s as important as winning the election, and maybe more important, to tell people why we want to be in power in the first place.

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Obamacare

Jindal, Rubio Separately Visit Japan


The to-do list of at least two potential Republican 2016 presidential candidates included “Visit Japan,” it seems. Last week, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal visited Osaka and Tokyo, meeting with executives from five companies, including Shin-Etsu, Japan’s largest chemical company, which has two plants in Louisiana. Jindal also visited South Korea and Taiwan.

A Senate seat has its advantages in lining up high-profile meetings. Today, the office of Florida senator Marco Rubio released this photo of the senator meeting with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe:

Rubio will next visit the Philippines, followed by South Korea.

What all of the lawmakers’ destinations have in common is a wariness about increasingly aggressive rhetoric and behavior from China.

Tensions are rising in the Pacific; Victor Davis Hanson recently compared increasingly aggressive Chinese militarism with the increasingly aggressive Japanese militarism of the 1930s.

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Marco Rubio , Japan

Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Runs Away From Reporters


Louisiana state senator Karen Carter Peterson, the chair of the state Democratic party, runs away from local television reporters who ask about her declaration that opponents of Obamacare are driven by racism.

Run, State Senator, Run!

The reporter adds that they submitted a written request for comment, left at her desk on the Senate floor . . . that she promptly threw in the trash.

Every lawmaker says something they regret; what’s kind of stunning is that her race-baiting occurred on the floor of the Louisiana State Senate, and now she wants to pretend it didn’t happen.

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Louisiana , Karen Carter Peterson

No Jindal Speech Tuesday Night


At the beginning of his briefing on hurricane preparations, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal made it official: “I will not be speaking or attending the Republican convention in Florida. There is no time for politics here in Louisiana.”

Jindal’s briefing can be watched here. The good news is that Isaac may not be as powerful as some other Gulf hurricanes and tropical storms, but the size and duration may result in significant damage to Gulf Coast communities.

Tags: Bobby Jindal

Jindal Won’t Be in Tampa if Louisiana Faces Isaac Danger


Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s appearance before the Republican National Convention, scheduled for Tuesday night, is now a strong possibility for cancellation.

“The governor was slated to speak at the convention in 2008 when Gustav hit, he not only didn’t speak, he didn’t even go,” said Kyle Plotkin, Jindal’s communications director. “He will certainly not leave the state if our people are in peril.”

The good news for convention-goers is that while tomorrow is likely to see high winds and rain, the path of Isaac is shifting westward. The bad news is that it makes it more likely that the tropical storm or hurricane will reach the Louisana coast and perhaps New Orleans.

Tags: Bobby Jindal

Speaking in Tampa: Ayotte, Davis, Jindal, Mack, McDonnell, and Portman


This morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced to Campaign Spot six more speakers for the party’s national convention in Tampa:

  • U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, United States Senator from New Hampshire and former New Hampshire Attorney General.
  • Former Democratic National Convention Speaker Artur Davis, former Alabama congressman from the 7th District (2003-2011) who was the first member of Congress not from Illinois to endorse President Obama in 2008. Davis, then a Democrat, seconded the official nomination of Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He recently announced he is joining the Republican Party and supporting Mitt Romney.
  • Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, 55th Governor of Louisiana, winning election in 2007 and winning reelection in all of the state’s 64 parishes in 2011; former U.S. Congressman; led the state’s response to the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf in 2010.
  • Congressman Connie Mack won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Florida on August 14th and was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2004.
  • Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association and chairman of the Republican National Convention Committee on Resolutions, commonly known as the Platform Committee.
  • U.S. Senator Rob Portman, U.S. Senator from Ohio who won election in 2010 by 18 points, winning 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties, and former Congressman from Ohio’s 2nd  district.  He is also a former U.S. Trade Representative and former Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

“This exciting group of headliners includes two successful governors, two outstanding senators, the next senator from our convention state, and a former Co-Chairman of the 2008 Obama campaign,” Priebus said in a released statement. “The perspectives and ideas they bring to the convention stage will show all Americans that Romney and Ryan are the ticket to a better future. Former Congressman Davis especially will give voice to the frustration and disappointment felt among those who supported President Obama in 2008 and are now hungry for a new direction.”

The convention is from August 27-30. Of the above names, Ayotte, Jindal, McDonnell and Portman were among those considered to be potential running mates for Romney. Mack is considered one of the party’s better shots for a takeover of an incumbent Democrat’s Senate seat, taking on Bill Nelson, and Davis is growing in prominence as one of Romney’s surrogates, as an African-American former Democrat. The comparisons of him to Joe Lieberman, who addressed the 2008 Republican convention, are likely to intensify in the coming weeks.

Davis also periodically writes for NRO. In fact, this morning he has a column declaring, “there has always been a measured slickness in how Barack Obama’s political operation has handled race, the third rail in politics.”

Tags: Artur Davis , Bob McDonnell , Bobby Jindal , Connie Mack , Kelly Ayotte , Rob Portman

Do We Await Portman-ia? The Ryan Commotion? The Palwenty Frenzy?


Veepstakes mania leads off the Tuesday Morning Jolt

Will Romney Pick His Veep Now? … How About Now? … How About… Now?

With Romney back from his overseas trip, and the Olympics ending this weekend, the veepstakes talk is kicking into higher gear.

 I don’t know if Bill Kristol has any inside scoop… but he certainly has perfected the art of sounding like he does:

On Monday, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol appeared on Fox News Channel where he discussed an editorial published over the weekend in which he recommends Mitt Romney “go for gold” and select either Rep.Paul Ryan (R-WI) or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to be the vice presidential nominee. Kristol said that he expects the vice presidential pick to be announced on Thursday in preparation for a bus tour which will take the 2012 GOP ticket to a number of battleground states.

“If you look at Governor Romney’s schedule, he’s got events in Illinois Tuesday, Iowa Wednesday, a fundraising breakfast Thursday morning in New York – his calendar then is clear, so far as I can tell, Thursday afternoon and Friday,” said Kristol. “Then he begins a barnstorming tour Saturday in Virginia, North Carolina Sunday, Florida Monday, Ohio Tuesday.”

“It’d be pretty weird, I think, to do this four-day tour through four swing states – big bus tour, a lot of excitement – without having picked a V.P. and with that, sort of, hanging over him and dwarfing whatever message he wants to get out,” Kristol continued.

“I now believe the pick would be made Thursday afternoon or Friday,” said Kristol, saying that he believes Thursday is the more likely of the two days to reveal a running mate. “Let the guy go on the morning shows Friday morning. Dominate the news over the weekend – very exciting bus tour – with Romney accompanied by either Christie, Ryan or Rubio.”

Micah Sifry offers a leading indicator:

The Romney campaign wants you to download its mobile app to be among the first to find out who Mitt is going to pick as his running mate, but if past history is any guide, you might want to instead be looking at Wikipedia — and whether any of the leading contenders’ entries are being suddenly brushed up.

Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page was updated at least 68 times the day before John McCain announced her selection, with another 54 changes made in the five previous days previous. Tim Pawlenty, another leading contender for McCain’s favor, had 54 edits on August 28th, with just 12 in the five previous days. By contrast, the other likely picks — Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchison — saw far fewer changes. The same burst of last-minute editing appeared on Joe Biden’s Wikipedia page, Terry Gudaitis of Cyveillance, told the Washington Post.

None of Wikipedia entries for the current candidates being bandied about by Romney-watchers — Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte or Pawlenty — are currently showing anything like the spike in edits that Cyveillance spotted on Palin and Biden’s pages back in 2008. But most of those came in the 24 hours prior to the official announcement. That said, if Wikipedia changes offer any hint of what’s coming, then today might be a good day to bet on Ryan.

My suggestion? Keep your eyes on Romney’s campaign plane at night.

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Marco Rubio , Paul Ryan , Rob Portman , Tim Pawlenty

Bobby Jindal’s Staff Formalizing Out-of-State Travel Policy?


Hmmm. This is probably nothing significant, but…

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office has changed its policy and started notifying Louisiana’s second-highest ranking official when the governor heads out of state.

Under the Louisiana Constitution, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne is technically the governor when Jindal leaves Louisiana. But until recently, Dardenne never knew when Jindal was gone.

… So, does Governor Jindal or his staff have reason to believe he’ll be leaving the state more regularly in the not-too-distant future?

UPDATE: Governor Jindal has a lengthy post in the Corner today.

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Louisiana , Mitt Romney

The Rather Inane Arguments Against Jindal


I’m a big fan of a bunch of Republican officeholders, and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is at or near the top. (If you’re wondering why, read my examination of Jindal’s first term and the rebirth of Louisiana in the years since Hurricane Katrina, here.)

Over at, Alex Altman takes a look at the reasons in favor of and in opposition to Jindal as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

The reasons in Jindal’s favor probably don’t need rehashing here. As I said, I’m hardly objective about Jindal, but the criticisms mentioned strike me as pretty inane.

From a political standpoint, the pick doesn’t make much sense. Louisiana is a lock to go in Romney’s column.

. . . as Delaware was safe in the Obama column, Alaska safe in the McCain column, Wyoming safe in the Bush column, and Connecticut safe in the Gore column. John Edwards failed to help John Kerry in North Carolina. Jack Kemp did not help Bob Dole in California (where he was raised) or New York (which he represented in Congress). There is little or no evidence that geography is much of a factor in running mate selections anymore.

If you’re not tapping a No. 2 who can help you pick up a swing state, you want him or her to provide an entree into a demographic group. The selection of Jindal, an Indian-American, would avoid the questionable optics of an all-white-guy ticket in a rapidly changing nation; to some it might signal an effort on the part of the GOP to expand its demographics. But Jindal is a staunch conservative with little obvious appeal to swing voters.

Let me say this again: LAST YEAR NO MAJOR DEMOCRAT RAN AGAINST JINDAL FOR REELECTION. The Louisiana Democratic party effectively conceded the race, with no lawmaker even willing to run just to build up name recognition. (Jindal’s best-known opponent was a schoolteacher.) He has enormous appeal to swing voters, particularly once they get a good look at the condition Louisiana was in when he took office and how the state is doing now.

Regarding demographics, I think it is a mistake to presume that large numbers of voters will automatically vote for a ticket that has a member of their ethnic group. But it is worth noting that there are about 3 million Indian-Americans in the United States, and unsurprisingly, many live in swing states. According to the 2010 census figures, about 90,000 live in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area, about 127,000 in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area, about 55,000 in the Detroit-Warren area; about 41,000 in the Miami–Fort Lauderdale area, 26,000 in the Orlando area, 23,000 in the Tampa–St. Petersburg area, and 20,000 in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

From a vetting perspective, Jindal has obvious downsides. Among them are an element of his background sure to dominate cable chatter if he were selected. In December 1994, Jindal wrote an article in the New Oxford Review (teaser here; subscription required for full version) that details his presence at the dorm-room exorcism of a female friend. Without casting any aspersions on Jindal’s beliefs, it’s safe to say that Romney — who has dealt with an undercurrent of bigotry toward his own faith — likely wants to avoid a protracted discussion of religious practices that would overshadow his focus on the economy.

I cannot scoff loud enough at any fan of Jeremiah Wright’s prize protégé who tries to make someone else’s religious beliefs an issue.

Jindal’s record as governor would also come under critical scrutiny. As the Wall Street Journal wrote in a glowing profile this week, Jindal “has won plaudits for his smooth handling of crises such as 2008′s Hurricane Gustav and the 2010 Gulf Oil spill.” As I wrote at the time, Jindal became a hero for his aggressive attacks on the federal government’s response to the spill. But his policy prescriptions were questionable. Jindal pushed hard for the government to construct a pricey barrier of sand berms to protect the state’s marshland from oil, and the project was ultimately OKed over the objections of scientists. An investigative commission subsequently found that the project was a $220 million boondoggle that captured little oil.

In Louisiana, the locals are huge fans of that effort, even if it was less successful than hoped, because it represented decisive action during a worsening crisis, while President Obama and most of the federal officials involved kept taking BP’s assurances that their next effort to cap the well was definitely going to work. People will forgive unsuccessful actions a lot faster than they will forgive dithering.

In a way, it’s not surprising that Jindal’s view broke with the scientific community; as governor, he signed a bill that provides for the teaching of creationism in public schools.

Finally, there’s the comfort factor. At the start of the primary, Jindal was an outspoken supporter of Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Nothing personal against Romney, just a personal appreciation of Perry, as Jindal explained at the time:

In the summer of 2008, Hurricane Gustav formed in the Gulf of Mexico and appeared dead-set for New Orleans, threatening to reprise or even exceed the worst devastation of Katrina. “We’ve never had to evacuate the entire state,” Jindal recalls, noting that Gustav’s path appeared to aim straight for the center of Louisiana (Katrina hit its southeastern region the hardest). “We had to evacuate 1.8 million people, the largest evacuation in American history, including 11,000 medical cases.” Jindal canceled his appearance at the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minn. — ultimately, the convention’s entire first night was canceled — and remained in Baton Rouge, ensuring that the state’s response adapted to the inevitable hitches and surprises. When FEMA assets were unavailable to get hospital patients out of the state, Jindal called Texas governor Rick Perry, who promised that every Texas Air National Guard asset would be there in the morning, before the airspace was scheduled to be shut down in the face of the advancing hurricane.

“On faith, we loaded up those ambulances,” Jindal said. “We had to believe. We get to the airport and you’ve got these ambulances there, and if the planes don’t come, there aren’t a whole lot of options to get those people out on time. The most beautiful sights I saw were those planes. We ended up getting planes from Canada and everywhere else, but the first planes that got here were the Texas planes.”

Time continues:

He didn’t endorse Romney until April, long after Perry left the race. Unlike Pawlenty, who has been a dogged surrogate for Romney, Jindal is not said to have a strong rapport with the former Massachusetts governor. While Romney has regularly invited rumored veep candidates (such as Portman) to campaign with him over the past few months, his meeting with Jindal on Monday was the pair’s first joint meeting of this phase.

If the two personalities don’t mesh, they don’t mesh, and Jindal’s people seemed pretty adamant last fall that their boss would rather enact a bold second-term agenda than attend foreign funerals. But perhaps the decision will look different with the offer actual instead of theoretical.

I’ve also heard scoffing that Jindal A) is too short, B) talks funny, and C) needs to be more “all-American.” I just sigh.

Of course, in a Jindal-Biden debate, every Democrat would be hoping, desperately, that the words “7-11″ do not come from the Vice President’s mouth.

Tags: Bobby Jindal

Has Romney Decided? Watch the Campaign Plane.


Matt Drudge is a master of finding the intriguing comment buried in an article and . . . extrapolating big things.

The New York Times, in a profile of former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, wrote: “His fate is in the hands of Mr. Romney, a rival-turned-friend, who is on the cusp of announcing his vice-presidential selection. Mr. Romney has reached a decision, his friends believe, and he may disclose it as soon as this week.”

What makes these Romney friends believe he has made a decision? No word.

The Drudge headline: “HE’S MADE HIS DECISION!”

. . . Well, maybe. Or maybe the unidentified Romney friends are drawing the wrong conclusions from whatever they see/hear/sense in their friend.

It does seem plausible that Romney would be close to a decision.

RealClearPolitics concluded a few weeks ago that the officeholders getting the most work as campaign surrogates included Pawlenty, Ohio senator Rob Portman, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. (In the weeks that followed, New Hampshire’s Sen. Kelly Ayotte seems to be getting more work as a Romney surrogate.) There were reports that Florida senator Marco Rubio was not being vetted, and then Romney said in an interview that he was indeed being vetted. The big news this morning is that South Dakota senator John Thune said he has “been to Boston to meet Romney’s senior advisers and has met Beth Myers, who is leading the search for the vice presidential nominee.”

So, barring some surprise, completely under-the-radar choice, the list is (in alphabetical order) Ayotte, Jindal, Pawlenty, Portman, Ryan, Rubio and Thune. (A top Romney source already told Bob Costa it’s “not Condi” Rice.)

The Olympics’ opening ceremony is July 27, and London-related headlines are likely to dominate the following weeks. Mid-August is traditionally America’s vacation time. And then there’s the August 27 deadline. So there’s a short window to announce in the coming two weeks, or sometime after the Olympics end August 12.

My suggestion? Keep your eyes on Romney’s campaign plane at night.

Tags: Bobby Jindal , John Thune , Marco Rubio , Mitt Romney , Paul Ryan , Rob Portman , Tim Pawlenty

Why Would Romney’s Veep Pick Come Soon?


In the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt, a look at a surprising rebuke to President Obama from a news anchor, a poll of the most memorable moments in television history, and then this bit of political buzz . . .

And the Next Vice President of the United States Will Be . . .

The long-awaited name of the running mate leaked yesterday: Cheri Honkala.

Wait, that’s the running mate for Green Party nominee Jill Stein. What party did you think I was talking about?

Reuters generated quite a bit of buzz with this little nugget:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney acknowledged on Tuesday he is considering naming his choice to serve as vice presidential running mate earlier than usual to better compete with President Barack Obama.

As they work from a short list of leading Republicans, Romney and his advisers say they are weighing whether he should announce his choice some weeks earlier than the traditional time of around the Republican National Convention, which is to be held in Tampa in late August.

The reasoning, advisers say, is that two candidates would be able to raise more money and engage Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in battle with polls showing Americans closely divided on whether to pick the Republican challenger or Democratic incumbent in the November 6 election.

Jonathan Tobin urges us to not jump to that conclusion: “Those who believe Romney is going to make a decision based on the ephemeral political advantages to be gained are forgetting that the Republican is the ultimate numbers-cruncher and specialized in mining the data exhaustively to make the right choice in business. He is probably conducting the veep search in the same manner he has made every other important business and political decision in his life, which makes the notion of moving up the pick merely in order to give him a couple of positive news cycles laughable. This is a man who is obsessed with long rather than short-term gains. That is why it is likely that whoever he chooses will be someone he thinks can help him govern rather than someone who is, no matter how impressive, unlikely to be the difference in the fall election.”

And during our discussion on MSNBC — yes, I shared a set with Obama’s former deputy press secretary Bill Burton! — Chuck Todd pointed out that right now, guys like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman are already all out there, being effective surrogates and fundraisers for the Romney campaign. Each one of those guys gets an extra bit of attention and buzz because they’re possible running mates. What’s the rush to move from five high-attention, loud-buzz surrogates to one big one and four lesser ones?

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Marco Rubio , Mitt Romney , Paul Ryan , Rob Portman , Tim Pawlenty

Jindal and Pawlenty, Bracketing Obama in Ohio and Pennsylvania


Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota — two oft-mentioned potential running mates for Mitt Romney — are on a bus tour for the Romney campaign through Ohio and Pennsylvania, “bracketing” events by President Obama. The pair held a conference call moments ago.


If you listen to his rhetoric and policies, you see a president who is engaged in class warfare, divide and blame rhetoric, because he simply can’t run on his record. He simply can’t ask Americans, “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” We’re moving more towards the ways of Europe, more towards the culture of dependency. There used to be a stigma in terms of relying on government programs. Under this president, they seem to celebrate the growth in the rolls of food stamps, the growth in the number of goverment health care, This is a very important election to get America back on track — to contrast that sense of entitlement, that sense of class warfare, with what Mitt Romney is running on. He’s running on policies and a track record of creating jobs in the private sector, not the public sector. He is reminding the American people that what makes America great is unlimited opportunity. You’re not entitled to equal results, you are entitled to equal opportunity in this great country.

I asked Pawlenty what he thought of recent criticism from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and William Kristol, contending that Governor Romney is missing opportunities in his campaign, content to point to the economic troubles and not making a forceful case for his own vision and policies. Pawlenty responded:

Governor Romney has put out the most detailed set of proposals on the economy and other issues that I think that any candidate at this stage of a presidential campaign in the modern history of the country — including a very detailed policy prescription on the economy. It features things like reductions in corporate tax rates, 20 percent across-the-board income tax cuts for individuals and obviously small businesses, exemptions and elimination of capital gains and interest taxation for middle-income folks, complete overhaul of America’s energy policy, complete overhaul of our health care policy back towards markets instead of back towards government, lightening up on regulations in ways that would stimulate economic growth, and much more. The content is all there, and he’s out there every day advancing that. The content is all there, and he’s out there advancing that in a way that I think has been positive so far.

Obviously, there’s a lot of work in front of us. In terms of the critics, I respect the individuals that you mentioned, but in polls, the marketplace response to Governor Romney has been very good. He’s running against an incumbent president, and depending on the week and the particular poll, he’s at worst tied and maybe even a little ahead by some polls. That doesn’t account for the people who are undecided, and with the down economy, those people may end up breaking against the incumbent. They know they incumbent, and they’re looking for a better alternative.

The state of the race, the state of the campaign Governor Romney is well-positioned to win this race.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bobby Jindal , Mitt Romney , Tim Pawlenty

The Cost of Obama’s Gulf Oil Permit Slowdown


Yesterday, I reported on Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal pointing out that during a late winter of skyrocketing gasoline prices, the president who keeps taking credit for increased domestic oil production has actually slowed the approval of leases and permits in the Gulf of Mexico to a crawl.

A report by Greater New Orleans Inc., an organization of businesses large and small in Southeast Louisiana, lays out how the Obama administration is approving only a fraction of the new permits, significantly less than preceding administrations in both deepwater projects and shallow water projects, that getting approval from Obama’s Department of Interior takes much longer than before he took office, and how Obama’s administration rejects a much higher percentage of proposals for drilling than before he took office.

On October 12, 2010, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE, the renamed Minerals Management Service) announced  that the federal government would lift the drilling moratorium.

In addition to its Economic Impact Study, released after the Deepwater Drilling Moratorium was lifted, Greater New Orleans, Inc. continued  to monitor and report on deep and shallow water permit issuance through the Gulf Permit Index (GPI). GNO, Inc. researchers aggregate public data from BOEMRE into graphs.

The GPI documents that both deep-water and shallow-water permit issuance continue to lag the previous year’s average:

The three-year historical average had been seven deep-water permits issued per month; now the Obama administration has it down to two per month.

The three-year average for shallow-water drilling permits had been 14.7 per month; the Obama administration now has that down to 2.3 per month.

The average approval time has increased from an average of 60.6 days in the preceding five years to 109 days in 2011.

And more drilling plans are rejected than ever. The five-year average had been 73.4 percent approval; now it’s down to only 34 percent of drilling plans approved.

The economic impact of the permitting slowdown – what some call a “permit-atorium” – is not limited to the increase in prices from reduced production and supply. The study also found a direct economic impact in the Gulf region:

Despite the relatively limited employment losses reflected in public employment data, this study provides evidence that businesses are indeed laying off workers, reducing hours and salaries, and limiting new hires as a result of the permit slowdown and  insecurity about future markets in the Gulf of Mexico. Forty-nine (48% of all surveyed)  companies reported laying off workers. Sixty-five (65.6%) companies surveyed reported no hiring or only replacement of lost employees. Of the companies that did hire, numbers were generally low with only one company reporting hiring over 50 workers in the last year. Some businesses have been cutting costs by reducing employees’ hours and/or salaries. Thirty-eight companies reported reducing hours and salaries of employees, sometimes as much as 40% in order to avoid layoffs.

The current increase in domestic oil production is in spite of the Obama administration’s policies, not because of it. When the President and his appointees have the power to increase domestic production, they are dragging their heels and rejecting proposals when they can.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bobby Jindal , Oil

Jindal’s Clinic on How to Talk About Energy Policy


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, at a press conference today with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, was asked what President Obama could do about high gas prices and rising energy prices when the price of oil is set by the global market.

Jindal offered a quick, detailed explanation that ought to be emulated by every aspiring Republican president – and every other GOP candidate at any level, for that matter.

“Gasoline prices have doubled since this president came into office,” Jindal said. “For a state like Louisiana that produces a lot of oil and gas, rising energy prices in the short term may be helpful in terms of revenues and jobs, but the reality is if we’re serious about rebuilding our manufacturing economy, if we’re serious about helping American families to have the money they need to pay for other essentials, we can’t continue to have  these escalating energy prices.”

“Several things he should be doing: For the last few years now, he’s been slowing down the leasing activity both offshore and onshore. When you look at oil and gas leasing on public lands, they talk about the record production here domestically. What don’t tell you is how much of that activity is taking place on private lands, and what they don’t tell you is how much of that activity is based on decisions made before he became president.”

“The president himself talked about how energy prices are being driven now by the sense of future risk, not that current supply and demand are imbalanced. One of the things a president can do is create a predictable environment for energy production. He hasn’t done that in permitting and leasing even now. Offshore, we’re still not up to normal permitting activity and we’re still not up to normal leasing in the Gulf.”

“As an administration, they can send a clear signal on fracking, procedures which have revolutionized our supply natural gas, that they’re not going to shut this down. That’s incredibly important… Take a look at the price of natural gas. It makes a tremendous difference if you’re a steel manufacturer, if you’re a fertilizer company, if you’re a plastics company. It makes a tremendous difference for those using natural gas to heat their home. It makes a tremendous difference to those who use natural gas to fuel their vehicles. This administration could send a clear signal that they understand that fracking is a safe way for us to produce energy and that they’re not about to shut that down. There’s tremendous concern in the industry. These are huge, multi-year capital investments. Companies are looking for certainty.

You talked about the CO2 emissions that could come out of the EPA. The mere threat of cap and trade regulation… A Democratic governor asked today, ‘Mr. President, what can you do in the short term?’ Some Democratic congressmen have talked about using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Even the president himself said, releasing from the SPR without international action isn’t going to do anything, because other producers could just lower their production.

This president could stand up tomorrow and give a speech to the nation that says, ‘I understand how important it is for us to have affordable reliable energy, so I’ve instructed my cabinet heads to make sure we’re not issuing any regulations that are interfering with safe, sound domestic production of energy. I’m making sure we’re doing everything we can to bring more reliable energy to this country, and so I’m going to reverse my decision on the pipeline. I’m going to make sure Keystone gets built, so that we make sure the Canadians don’t go and sell their energy to the Chinese.’

We’ve got an ally that has been a steadfast ally and trading partner, for us to tell them we’re going to politicize the decision about whether they should sell energy to us or to the Chinese – that has an impact on supply and prices.

Maybe you can ask him to give that speech, since I don’t think he’ll listen to us.”

Tags: Barack Obama , Bobby Jindal


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