During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Louisiana Governor and poor-performing Republican Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal struggled to handle questions from guest host Bret Baier over his awful record of handling his state’s economy. After Baier discussed the recent Iranian nuclear deal with Jindal — which Bobby predictably poo-pooed — Baier then went in for the kill on Jindal, asking him point blank how he could be taken seriously criticizing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s economic strategy when he’s struggled with deficits and his approval rating in the state is around 30%.
After Jindal answered a question from Baier regarding Clinton’s economic policies and how he thinks they will lead the United States to be like Greece, Baier wondered what Jindal could provide the nation considering his own struggles leading Louisiana. Jindal countered by blaming the left and claiming that he’s turned around the state’s economy by shedding 30,000 government jobs. (Yes, he pointed to job losses as a gain for the state. Because, government bad.)
BAIER: Governor, you have economic problems at home. Your approval rating in Louisiana has hovered around 30 percent, stemming largely from how you handled a deficit of about $1.6 billion, a budget shortfall. And you are waiting to hear whether Louisiana will lose some of its credit rating, will be downgraded a bit. Why should anyone look at your economic record and say that’s what I want for the nation?
JINDAL: Well, Bret, we actually measure prosperity on how people are doing in the real world, not the government sector. So in Louisiana, we have balanced our budget eight years in a row without raising taxes. Largest tax cut in our state’s history. Income tax cut. Secondly, we have cut our state budget 26 percent, $9 billion. Cut over 30,000 fewer state government bureaucrats. We’ve actually had eight credit upgrades. Our highest credit rating in decades. We’ve got more people working than ever before in Louisiana’s history, earning a higher income than ever before. We reversed 25 years of out-migration, seven years in a row of in-migration. Actually, you look at Louisiana’s economy, we have got $60 billion, 90,000 jobs coming into our state because of economic development wins.
You’re right, the left doesn’t like what I’ve done because they say we’ve cut too much in government. Prosperity is measured in the real world, not the government world, and that’s the choice we face in 2016.
Normally, on Fox, when a Republican gives their standard ‘blame the left’ answer, the host moves on to another softball question to help the politician continue to push his tried and true talking points. However, in this case, Baier continued to hammer away at Jindal and not let him get away with the formulaic deflection that routinely passes at Fox.
BAIER: Governor, the way you’ve done that, you’ve tried to pass a plan — you passed a plan that many looked at as a way to keep a presidential campaign promise by not raising taxes. In consultation with Grover Norquist, with the Americans for Tax Reform. The Citizens for Tax Justice explained it this way, where the revenue came from. How a governor can raise taxes without violating a no-tax pledge. “Governor Jindal has created a Rube Goldberg-like budget gimmick. Governor Jindal passed a massive increase in college fees, which he then exactly offset with the new tax credit, resulting in no actual increase in costs for students. Because college fee increases do not technically count as a tax under Grover Norquist’s formula, Governor Jindal could claim that the tax credit, half of his plan, was a substantial new tax cut. Jindal could then sign an increase in the actual taxes, including cigarette taxes and other levies, without violating the pledge under the dubious claim that the tax portion of this package was revenue neutral.”
Isn’t that, Governor, the kind of stuff that Republicans hate about Washington?
Ouch. Obviously, Bobby wasn’t ready for such a tough go round on Fox News. He likely thought this was going to be an easy platform for him to help advance his moribund campaign. Sadly for him, it appears that Fox has decided to toss Jindal aside in an effort clear out some of the deadwood in the crowded GOP field. Jindal tried to answer Baier with a word salad that consisted of buzzwords like private sector, privatization and smaller government. But, of course, he did not answer the question, which led Baier to ask it again.
BAIER: I understand that. I (inaudible) go to the specifics, and some of it people glaze over. But when it’s budget specifics and you are doing one thing and talking about one thing, just so that you can say that you didn’t raise a tax, but it’s a fee, isn’t that stuff that Republicans hate?
The message was clear on Sunday morning. Jindal should pack it up because Fox is done with him as a candidate.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Media Matters: