Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Bobby Jindal

Continuing his series on the appearance of the presidential candidates in Iowa, Nebraska attorney Dave Begley files this report on Bobby Jindal in Council Bluffs yesterday. Dave reports:

BegleyJindal I first saw Bobby Jindal in Council Bluffs, Iowa on July 1. At that time and after the first debate I was concerned about the effectiveness of his presentation because of his rapid delivery. He has slowed down his delivery considerably and he is much improved. Even at the slower pace his raw intelligence (what he calls his “bandwidth”) really shines through.

This was his sixteenth appearance in Iowa and I suspect he is hitting the same Christian demographic as Carson, Huckabee and Santorum. He nevertheless seeks to differentiate himself from the other candidates.

Jindal started out by blasting (but in a nice way) Scott Walker’s newly released alternative to Obamacare. Bobby flat out called it Obamacare Light. He further asserted that Walker would create a new entitlement and that will only drive up spending. Health care is Jindal’s special area of expertise and he touted the fact that he is the only candidate (until Walker) who has released a detailed plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

He started his stump speech describing his parents’ legal immigration to America. The most interesting thing to me was that he said that a President Jindal would secure the border in six months. Opposing sanctuary cities, he said he would lock up local officials who defied federal law. On immigration he said “enough is enough,” which is the same phrase used by Bernie Sanders but in a different context. Jindal also drew on an old theme when he said that he was tired of hyphenated Americans and only wanted Americans in this country.

I asked him about his recent tweet calling for the elimination of birthright citizenship. Would it be by statute or constitutional amendment? His understanding is that while there are different opinions, he would seek a constitutional amendment. Jindal also said that birthright citizenship only encourages people to come here illegally. At several points he said that his first priority would be to secure the border and then he would turn to other immigration issues.

He described our current immigration system as setting up “a low wall and a narrow gate.” This is exactly backwards. We need a high wall (both literally and figuratively) and a broad gate to keep out the wrong people and speed up the legal immigration system for people we need and want here. On one of his trips to the border he saw three groups crossing in broad daylight. One group went through an unlocked gate in a border fence.

Jindal differentiated himself from the other governors running as the only one actually to cut spending in his state. This tied into his theme that he in the only candidate who has the combination of “backbone, bandwidth and experience ” to get the job done. Like Governors Perry and Walker, he described himself as a doer and not a talker. He advocates shrinking the size of government and decreasing spending.

Cruz has spoken of the DC cartel. Carly speaks of the professional political class. Bobby calls DC the permanent political class. Jindal asserted that he “would shove term limits” down the throats of Congress.

He took a swipe at Governor Bush and said the country doesn’t need a second liberal party with the GOP.

In answer to a Tenth Amendment question he said his state would be filing a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan. He won a lawsuit allowing state-wide school choice and that reflects his view that Washington does too much and many government activities should be returned to the states.

A final theme was the military. He would move defense spending up to 4 percent of GDP. He would stop Iran from getting a nuke and remarked that Iran has the explicit policy “to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.” He chided Obama for his refusal to recognize by name that we are fighting radical Islam. In regard to ISIS, he remarked that sometimes the way to win a war is to kill people.

He closed by quoting Ronald Reagan. The United States is a shining city on a hill but freedom must be won by each generation. He received a standing ovation. At least twenty people stayed for handshakes, pictures and questions.