Meet the Press   |  August 25, 2013

4: Jindal shares his views on the American Dream

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal visits Meet the Press to share his story as an example of the American Dream.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now republican governor of louisiana bobby jindal . welcome back to "meet the press."

>> thank you for having me.

>> good to have you here in person. you as a potential nominee in 2016 , you've taken on your party, said, look, the american dream 's got to be within reach for everybody and we as republicans need to find a way to provide a blueprint for americans to get their vote with changing demographics in the country. you said at one time, calling your party the stupid party for some of the remarks made in the 2012 campaign. so i want to ask you about the battles that are brewing in terms of this tension between spending restraint and making more investments. the president speaking a couple days ago, said, look, there is no more deficit crisis. the deficit is coming down. here are his remarks.

>> we don't have an urgent deficit crisis. the only crisis we have is one that's manufactured in washington, and it's ideological. and the basic notion is, is that we shouldn't be helping people get health care and we shouldn't be helping kids who can't help themselves and whose parents are underresourced, we shouldn't be helping them get a leg up.

>> this is about the role of government in helping people reach their version of the american dream .

>> sure. well, a couple things. obviously, i disagree with the president. i still think we have a deficit and debt crisis, debt nearing $17 trillion, but to the bigger point. i want to pick up on something your earlier guests said, when it comes to the american dream , the next great civil rights fight is about making sure every child as a great education. it comes down to making sure that every american has a chance at a great-paying job, starting with education. we like to say we're for equal opportunity in education but that's not the reality in america. if your parents have the means, they move the a good neighborhood with good public schools or saving their dollars to send you to a good private school . there are too many kids trapped in poor neighborhoods with poor failing public schools . in louisiana we're doing something about it. 90% of our kids in new orleans are in charter schools . we've e taken the program statewide so dollars can follow the child. the teacher unions fight against that. just on friday. the department of justice said they would go to court. we have a scholarship program. 100% of the kids are low income, 100% in failing schools, c, d, f schools, 90% of the kids are minorities. 8,000 parent have chosen to take these dollars and send their kids to other schools for a better education and a better fit for their children. now the department of justice using the same rules that were there to prevent discrimination against minority children is going after some of these parents and kids and saying we don't know that we want to allow you to make this choice. we want you to have to go to a federal judge . we need to provide a great education for every child.

>> and forging compromise on issues like that is still going to be difficult, as is finding the real true message of the republican party as the republican party tries to win back the white house and overall control of congress. general colin powell was on this program earlier this year and he spoke about another challenge that faces the party that he says really is intolerance. this is what he told me.

>> there's also a dark -- a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. what do i mean by that? what i mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.

>> heard john lewis say there's still not a lot of acceptance of an african- american president , calls for impeachment this week, that some have chalked up to racism. what's your view of a dark vein of intolerance within the gop?

>> well, first of all, let's talk about --

>> is that fair even?

>> well, i have a lot of respect for general powell . i think our party at its best, its core principles looks at people and treats them as individuals, not as members of special interest groups . talk about specific examples, impeachment, for example. look, i reject that kind of talk. the reality is i can't like it when the left spent eight years trying to delegitimize president bush . i don't think we should be koing that to president obama . the reality is one of the great things about this country is we have a peaceful transfer of policy. i disagree this president's policies, but instead of talking act impeachment, let's have a legitimate debate, try to repeal his policies, repeal obama care, fight for school choice , fight against war and debt spending. entitlement spending. you see the disparity numbers, have the numbers from earlier about the african-american unemployment rate, the challenges in joining the middle class . it's time for a new approach. let's not talk about impeachment. let's talk about the policies we disagree with.

>> on obama care, you have the speaker e of the house saying the president's not going to lose his signature achievement, that efforts to defund obama care, eve on the threaten a government shutdown simply are not going to work.

>> well, look, one, i don't know why we would negotiate with ourselves. the this isn't about politics. i think obama care is bad for our health care system . i care deeply about health care . the president himself said if you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep it, if you like your doctor, you'll be able to keep it. that won't be true for millions of americans. turns out premiums are going up by some to estimates as much as 30% across the country in certain markets and some much more than that. so i don't know why we would take any option off the table. i don't think this president or the democrats are going to want to shut down the government. that's a false choice . that's a threat coming from them. i think republicans should use every tactic, every option the repeal and replace --

>> what would the impact of shutting down the government mean?

>> i think this is a false threat from the other side. you don't have to shut it down to repeal and replace obama care. we should be fighting to defund it. the reality is let's have that debate. i don't think republicans should be negotiating with ourselves and saying we're not going to do this or that. look at every option to get rid of obama care.

>> i just have a few seconds left. first indian american governor, a picture of you going to disney land , where else, as a kid. your american dream has been realized. what does it mean to you as a newer generation of politician?

>> you know, it's amazing. my dad's here in the audience, one of nine kids, only one that got past the fifth grade, came here with his pregnant wife. what's amazing to me is he had the confidence, didn't know anybody, went through the yellow pages , calling people, had the confidence he could get a job. he has an accent, not a southern accent . he has an accent. he has lived the american dream . i want my children to have those same opportunities. this is the greatest country in the history of the world .

>> governor jindal, thank you for being here. appreciate it very much.

>> thank you.

>> well eel take a break and be back with personal