Jindal: Palin “Absolutely” Qualified for 2012 Run

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Louisiana Guv tells Al Hunt it’s up to Alaskan to make case to voters, says he’s “biased” towards state leaders who’ve had to “balance budgets, make tough choices.”

“POLITICAL CAPITAL WITH AL HUNT”: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Courtesy of BLOOMBERG TELEVISION

Governor Jindal on whether or not Sarah Palin could be elected in 2012:

“Oh, absolutely I think it’s up to her to make the case to voters. I think we have several – and, by the way, I am biased towards governors and those that have run organizations and executives who’ve had to balance budgets, make tough choices.

I don’t like anybody – whether it’s the Republican establishment, D.C. insiders – trying to tell the Republican voters who their nominee should be. I think there are several strong contenders. Governor Palin is one of them; there are many others. I don’t think the establishment should try and get together to pick the nominee. Let the voters decide.”

Governor Jindal on the Obama administrations bailout of Wall Street and GM:

“I still think that the bailouts – I think the interventions were a mistake. Let’s look at a couple of facts. One, taxpayers still haven’t been made whole from G.M. Stock prices for – the share prices in G.M. would have to go up fairly dramatically for us to even break even.

But even greater than that, even greater than the tens and hundreds of billions of dollars that were put potentially at risk, what is of greater concern is this idea that the government’s going to pick winners and losers.

Bloomberg did a great analysis showing that many of the firms – many of those Wall Street firms that benefited from these programs actually helped devise and guide these programs. You get the potential – when the government’s picking winners and losers, you have the potential for politics to interfere and determine who gets the money and who benefits.

I think it would have been much better – it would have been much better, rather than picking some firms as too big to fail, it would have been much better if the government had said, “Here are the rules of the road. We’re going to make it predictable.”

Bobby Jindal on passing the so-called DREAM Act:

“A couple of things, Al. One, I think it’s a mistake to start with anything other than securing our borders. Back in the ’80s, there was a comprehensive deal that was going to secure the borders, grant amnesty. Well, they granted amnesty, and they didn’t secure the borders. Let’s not repeat that. Let’s secure the borders, and then let’s move on to the other pieces.

Let’s do three things when it comes to immigration: secure the borders. Let’s make sure we have a rational immigration policy that’s not kicking out high-skilled workers. Let’s have a rational immigration policy that allows people in who want to work, who want to contribute to American – the American economy and the American dream. But, third, let’s also – and this is an important part of the immigration debate – let’s also have a policy of assimilation.”

Governor Jindal on the possible 35% tax cut in state funding for higher education:

“We’re not cutting higher education 35 percent. We’re in the beginning of our budget process. We’ll present a budget in March. I’ve met with higher education leaders, made it very clear we’re going to close that gap, we’re not going to raise taxes.

What we are going to do – we’ve cut – Al, we’ve cut overall spending in Louisiana 26 percent since I was elected governor. We have cut higher education by about 4.5 percent. We’re all going to have to do more with less. We’re not going to raise taxes. We’re working with higher education to be more accountable, more focused. We ranked ninth highest in the country in the percentage of our state tax dollars.”

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