Republican Presidential Candidate Profile: Bobby Jindal

The Hill Talk is giving a quick rundown of each Republican candidate in advance of the first primary debate on Thursday, August 6.

Here is our profile of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Quick Facts:

  • Born June 10, 1971 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to immigrants from Malerkotla, Punjab, India.
  • Attended Brown University, graduating in 1991 at the age of 20 with honors in both majors, biology and public policy, from the Program in Liberal Medical Education.
  • Studied at New College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. He received an M.Litt. degree (post-graduate) in political science with an emphasis in health policy from the University of Oxford in 1994 – the subject of his thesis was entitled, “A needs-based approach to health care”.

Political Experience:

  • At age 24, appointed to lead the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, an agency that represented about 40 percent of the state budget and employed over 12,000 people.
  • In March 2001, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation.
  • Unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Louisiana in 2003.
  • Served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, starting in 2004, where he was a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, House Committee on Resources, and House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
  • Has served two terms as the Governor of Louisiana, starting in 2008.

Positions on the issues

Healthcare:

  • Ebola isn’t the last epidemic; it’s just a harbinger.
  • Market-based alternatives to top-down ObamaCare.
  • Healthcare is a right, but it’s instrument is the marketplace.
  • Euthanasia cheapens life just like abortion & infanticide.
  • Universal access, but not government-run.
  • Move away from ER to primary care; cover 100,000 uninsured.
  • Voted NO on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D.
  • Voted YES on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay.

Jobs/Economy:

  • Replace “obsession with zeroes” with growth strategy.
  • Invest the retirement benefits for teachers & state workers.
  • Encourage investment in low-to-moderate income areas.
  • Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing.
  • Voted YES on increasing minimum wage to $7.25.

 Climate change:

  • In September 2014, Jindal stated that global warming was more about increasing government regulation, and released an energy plan that was critical of the Obama Administration’s policies

Immigration:

  • Says we need high walls and wide gate. Thinks its currently a backwards system: low walls and a narrow gate.
  • Mexico is effectively exporting its unemployment to us.
  • Enforce existing laws & refocus on high-skill immigrants.
  • Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border.
  • Rated 100% by USBC, indicating a sealed-border stance.

Social issues:

  • Institution of marriage existed long before our laws existed.
  • Pledged support for a religious freedom law.
  • Okay to deny services to gays based on religious beliefs.
  • Was opposed to SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling.
  • Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent.
  • Increase scrutiny & penalties for school child abuse.
  • Feds obliged to care for those who can’t care for themselves.
  • Voted YES on providing $70 million for Section 8 Housing vouchers.
  • Human life amendment: define “person” from conception.
  • Has said that contraceptives should be over-the-counter.

 

Relevant scandals:

  • 2009 Response to President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress was seen as a major failure.

Who will vote for him?

In a crowded GOP field, Jindal may be the obvious minority pick to round out a ticket. Personally appeals to the staunchly conservative base. Previous misstep on national stage shows he may be weak in the areas most necessary to raise his national brand.

Debate video:

On defense policy