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Public Statements

NBC "Meet the Press" - Transcript

Interview

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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DAVID GREGORY:
So much to get to here. And I want to start with you, Governor Jindal. You heard me ask Leader Pelosi, "Is the fight over?" She said, "Yes." Republican attempts to repeal it are basically fantasy at this point. But you and other Republican governors say no. You're not going to fully implement the law, even though the Supreme Court has spoken. Why not?

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
Absolutely. Look, this election, this coming election, gives American voters a chance. We've got two very different candidates. President Obama's doubled down on this-- the creation of a brand new entitlement program, over $500 billion in Medicare cuts, $500 billion in tax increases, $1.7 trillion in new spending we can't afford.

We can't afford the programs we have today and he wants to create a new program. There's never been one day a majority of the American people have wanted this. He forced this through on a party line vote without one Republican vote in support. So I think the voters have--

DAVID GREGORY:
Wait, governor, that's (UNINTEL) what are you not going to do? You're--

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
Well--

DAVID GREGORY:
--really going to not cover people who need insurance in your state even after the federal government passed this, the Congress passed it and the Supreme Court said it's constitutional?

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
David, every governor's got two critical decisions to make. One is do we set up these exchanges. And, secondly, do we expand Medicaid. And no, in Louisiana, we're not doing either one of those things. I don't think it makes sense to do those. I think it makes more sense to do everything we can to elect Mitt Romney to repeal Obamacare.

Think about adding a 16, 17 million Americans into an unreformed Medicaid program. This is simply growing government healthcare. You listen to the government's own experts. They've said healthcare spending's going up. The president promised us premiums would go down $2,500. CMAS actually say that healthcare spending will go up 7% in 2014 as this law begins to be enacted.

The reality is they did not bend the cost curve down as the president's promised. They did not make healthcare spending more sustainable. We can't afford another entitlement program. We're going to have more people in the cart rather than pulling the cart. We're going to go the way of Europe--

DAVID GREGORY:
All right.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
--if we don't repeal this law.

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GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
A few things real quickly. On Medicaid expansion I think this is a great philosophical difference again being Republicans and Democrats, with Mitt Romney and President Obama. You just heard Howard say that growing Medicaid grows your state's economy.

Look, federal dollars aren't free. Those dollars are coming from us, from our children, our grandchildren. We're borrowing money from China to spend on government programs we can't afford. The best thing we can do is help people get good paying jobs instead of making them more dependent on government programs.

Every month since I've been governor our unemployment rate's been below the national and southern averages. Under President Obama median family income's gone down $4,000. Since I've been governor our per capita income's gone up over $2,000. The best way to help people get better healthcare is to get them better paying jobs so they can afford healthcare. Now, look, I do agree we need to reform the health insurance marketplace. I do agree the status quo's not acceptable. I just don't think this expensive, unsustainable entitlement program--

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GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
Three things. He says repeal and replace. Mitt Romney also says, look, pre-existing conditions, absolutely a general concern. Wants to make sure people have continuous coverage, don't base discrimination in the insurance marketplace. Also wants to make sure that people going in for the first time have high risk pools, re-insurance subsidies so they can afford. It makes no sense.

But today's insurance marketplace makes no sense where when people need help the most it's hardest to buy insurance. So he's not saying just get rid of it and don't replace it. And unfortunately the president, if he engaged in a serious bipartisan dialogue, could have gotten some of these reforms done.

Secondary, when you talk about how easy can you do this, the Democrats used reconciliation to get this done on a strictly pure majority vote in the Senate without needing 60 votes. The reality is when Mitt Romney's elected he's going to have a mandate. You're going to see not only a Republican Senate, you're going to see Democratic senators like Senator Prior and others in other swing states all of a sudden I think Mitt Romney.

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GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
Well, I think Paul Ryan made this point very well Friday. Mitt Romney's always been against the national mandate. He's always been against Obamacare. Always said he wanted to repeal it. Look, states are different. Founding Fathers intended each state to be a laboratory of experimentation.

I come from one the most distinct cultural states in the entire country. Mardi Gras is great for Louisiana. May not work as well in Vermont or other states. The reality is what works in Massachusetts may not be appropriate to another state. Mitt Romney--

DAVID GREGORY:
You're really comparing Mardi Gras to universal health insurance?

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
What I'm saying is every state is different. Mitt Romney has never been for a national mandate. It is very different for the federal government-- think of what the Supreme Court has done now. The Founding Fathers purposely reserved powers to the state and the individuals they would not give to the federal government.

Now the court did something-- I disagreed with their ruling. They're eroding our freedoms, but at least they're more honest than the president. They called it what it was. A huge tax increase. The federal government can now tax us for inactivity to compel behavior, not primarily to collect revenue. They can now--

DAVID GREGORY:
In Massachusetts there were very few people who actually had to pay. Most people got health insurance. That's a fact, isn't it?

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
That's the whole point. This is not about collecting revenue. It's about changing behavior. So, for example, the first lady is--

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In Massachusetts there were very few people who actually had to pay. Most people got health insurance. That's a fact, isn't it?

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
That's the whole point. This is not about collecting revenue. It's about changing behavior. So, for example, the first lady is--

DAVID GREGORY:
So you say it's a big new tax increase. Very few people actually had to pay a tax.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
It's the threat of a new tax increase to change behavior.

DAVID GREGORY:
Right.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
So now you've got--

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DAVID GREGORY:
All right. I'm out of time. Two quick ones for you, governor. You're on the V.P. list. Would you like to be his running mate if he asks you?

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
You and I have talked about this before. We're not going to speculate. I've said this for the last several weeks. We're not speculating. We're not commenting on that. I'll refer all those questions to Governor Romney and his campaign.
Not disrespect to Joe Biden, nobody's going to the voting booth and voting based on who's vice president. This is a choice between two very different visions for America. Mitt Romney will grow the private sector, not the public sector. I do want to say in Louisiana, 96.5% of our kids do have coverage. One of the reasons that I do think if you leave it to states-- nobody's saying leave these kids uncovered. We're simply saying a new government entitlement program's not the way to get this done.

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GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
Look, personally as a citizen I think it's a sad day to have this newspaper go to three days a week instead of seven days a week. I know they're going to enhance their digital content. I've got a lot of friends there that work at the paper. I don't always agree with the paper and I shouldn't always agree with the paper.

I think it's important for democracy. We've got robust news gathering organizations. I think the daily newspaper, the printed newspaper, plays an important role in holding government accountable, uniting our people. I think that they played such a critical role after Katrina, bringing news to people even when their presses were flooded.

I'm saddened by this development. Even though I don't agree with their editorial positions and their reporting, I am still saddened by the fact that we're going to have a great American city without a major daily newspaper. I don't think that's a good development for democracy.

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