Oct. 02– CEDAR RAPIDS — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal opened his Believe Again town hall meeting with a prayer for the victims of the shooting at an Oregon community college and a Manchester school bus rollover.
“We pray for the comfort, the peace only you can bring … and heal broken hearts,” Jindal, head bowed, implored.
That seemed to set the tone for his hourlong remarks and question-and-answer session that ranged from his anger with “surrender Republicans” who won’t seize the opportunity to defund Planned Parenthood to the need to return to the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United States.
Jindal, the 44-year-old second-term governor, is angrier with Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, than he is with Democrats, who, he said, are honest about their intentions to move the nation to the left and expand the role of government.
“At least Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist,” he said. “We’ve got conservative who will say one thing when they are running for office and they do another when we actually elect them.
“So our choice in Washington is you’ve got honest socialists or lying conservatives. That’s a heck of a choice,” he said to chuckles.
Jindal called America an “inherently Judeo-Christian nation” where “government didn’t create our rights. Government rather secures our God-given rights.”
He went on to say that part of the Judeo-Christian heritage is “we don’t discriminate against anyone.” America can be a diverse society and defend religious liberty, he said.
Jindal is toiling in the low single digits in polls, but has high favorability rating among Iowa Republicans. His net favorability rating is double Donald Trump’s and puts him in fourth place behind Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio. He’s well-positioned for a “moment,” as one campaign aide put it.
That would be just fine with Deb Sheldon of Cedar Rapids who was “pretty excited about what he said.”
Sheldon was encouraged by his comment in reference to ISIS that sometimes it’s necessary to “hunt down and kill your enemies before they kill you.”
Sheldon favors a stronger defense so her family members in the military “have what they need to do their jobs.”
For Dan Clark of Cedar Rapids, Jindal’s comment about caring for the less fortunate in our communities, but not making government assistance a lifetime source of income, resonated.
“I agree with most of what he had to say,” Clark said, especially about downsizing government and making sure “welfare isn’t the family business.”
Christine Haycock of Marion went further.
“If the caucuses were tomorrow, I’d vote for him,” she said as she waited in line to visit with Jindal.
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