5 Quotes That Will Define Bobby Jindal’s Foreign Policy

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican serving in that office since 2008, is expected to announce his presidential campaign on June 24. While there is often preference among voters for governors over legislators in a potential chief executive, the following are quotes from Jindal on five topics regarding foreign policy, national security, and civil liberties.

#1. The War in Iraq

Before serving as governor, Jindal served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Although not in office at the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Jindal has generally approved of the decision to go to war and praised the commander-in-chief’s choice to intervene:

“In the real world, presidents have to play the hand of cards they are dealt. President Bush did just that, operating off the information he had, and he did it well.”

Reiterating his belief in action, Jindal has also said, “The problems we face in Iraq today I don’t think were because of President Bush’s strength but have come about because of President Obama’s weakness.”

Jindal also recently wrote in National Review, “The better question is whether we have learned the right lessons from the past, and how they affect the policies of the present.” The governor asserted, “Iran is much more of a threat now than Iraq was [in 2003].”

#2. Iran

In March, Arkansas U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton sent an open letter to Iran warning that no future administration would be bound to a nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. Jindal quickly pointed out, “I’ve been saying it for some time now.”

Jindal also said earlier this year on Fox News that any nuclear deal with Iran should:

“Get rid of their enriching capabilities, get rid of their stored enriched uranium, cut off the path to plutonium, have anytime, anywhere inspections.”

#3. Islamic State

For nearly one year, the United States has waged war on the Islamic State, or ISIS. Jindal has expressed dissatisfaction with the administration’s commitment to win the conflict:

“What I worry about is that this president’s hesitancy in going all the way and defeating ISIS may be linked – I can’t prove that, I suspect that from his actions, his rhetoric – may be linked to his overarching desire to get a deal with Iran.”

Jindal’s claim was puzzling to some observers because it implied that the Obama administration is reluctant to fight a group that is an enemy of Iran.

#4. Patriot Act

As a congressman in 2005, Jindal voted to extend 14 out of 16 provisions of the Patriot Act. After initially opposing efforts to end bulk collection of phone data, he admitted:

“Sometimes the smartest course is in the middle and avoiding extremes. . . . I believe that government should have to get a warrant to spy on American citizens, and I oppose the mass collection of data. At the same time, I also believe that when the government has a lead, they must have the freedom to follow that lead, wherever it goes.”

#5. Syria

Along with several other Republicans, Jindal voiced a skeptical tone on the Obama administration’s proposed 2013 intervention in Syria over the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons:

“The president is asking for authority he admits he does not need, to do something that he ensures us won’t have much effect, in order to produce an outcome he refuses to define. . . . I’m always open to hearing the president make his case, but he hasn’t even tried thus far.”

However, at a 2014 foreign policy conference in Washington, Jindal said the U.S. should not be “deterred from our longer term goal of removing Assad.”