Jindal’s Remarks Disrespect the Office He Seeks
Baton Rouge, LA – Today, Louisiana lawmakers reacted to the disrespectful and hurtful comments Gov. Jindal made defending former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and worsened by his White House press conference.
Last week, Gov. Jindal released a formal statement of support after former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s controversial comments on President Obama. Jindal also called the ex-mayor to congratulate him the day after the remarks took place. Jindal was neither prompted for comment nor present at the event. On Monday, Jindal took to the White House to declare the President “unfit to be commander in chief,” doubling down on his comments last week.
“Governor Jindal embarrassed himself and his state this past week” said state Rep. Katrina Jackson. “It is highly disappointing that our governor would choose to question whether our President loves our country. Has it really come to this? Regretfully this governor and the former mayor of New York have taken politics to a new low. Governor Jindal’s lack of focus on our state’s current budget crisis and continued need to promote division does absolutely nothing to aid the people of Louisiana. As legislators continue to work across party lines in an effort to solve our most pressing needs for basic human services such as Education and Healthcare, we find ourselves continuously calling him home to focus on those who elected him.”
The legislators voiced concerns that these episodes pointed to the misplaced priorities of state Republicans. Jindal’s frequent absences from the state and gaffe-filled national appearances have shown that solving the $1.6 billion budget crisis isn’t his top priority. While he has proposed that his own office budget only be cut by $10,000 (less than one tenth of one percent), other statewide offices and departments face millions in reductions. In the days surrounding the release of his budget, Gov. Jindal will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland and a Florida summit sponsored by the Club for Growth.
“Louisiana citizens are calling on our governor to work with legislators to solve Louisiana’s problems” said state Rep. Ed Price. “At a time when we need his attention back home, he rather talk about Rudy Giuliani, and worse. He is telling us to tighten our belts but refuses to downsize his own office. Our hospitals and universities are in dire straits, but he gets to travel all over the country with state campaign funds and our tax dollars.”
“No one in Louisiana has time to weigh in on petty gossip including the Governor. His out of state schedule seriously impairs his ability to meet with legislators and constituents and focus on Louisiana,” said state Rep. Ledricka Thierry. “He wants to reduce funding for our public universities by $300 million, leaving students and their families holding the bag. Our hospitals don’t have enough money to serve the community, but he can jet around to fancy events all over the country.”
Gov. Jindal’s recent budget outlined a $13 million cut to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, along with a loss of $8 million in federal matching funds. His refusal to expand Medicaid will cost the state $1.8 billion a year in federal dollars.
“Governor Jindal must join with legislators to put an end to this crisis,” said state Rep. Regina Barrow. “We need to expand Medicaid, protect higher education opportunities, pass equal pay for our working families. I don’t know what‘s worse, the governor’s rejection or his absence from the discussion entirely. The governor should worry less about the job he wants and focus on the job he has.”