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Bobby Speaks

The Republican National Committee has started putting out excerpts from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R-La.) response to the as-yet-undelivered prime time speech by President Obama.

As I grew up, my mom and dad taught me the values that attracted them to this country – and they instilled in me an immigrant’s wonder at the greatness of America. As a child, I remember going to the grocery store with my dad. Growing up in India, he had seen extreme poverty. And as we walked through the aisles, looking at the endless variety on the shelves, he would tell me: ‘Bobby, Americans can do anything.’ I still believe that to this day.

….

Republicans are ready to work with the new President to provide those solutions. Here in my state of Louisiana, we don’t care what party you belong to if you have good ideas to make life better for our people. We need more of that attitude from both Democrats and Republicans in our nation’s capital. All of us want our economy to recover and our nation to prosper. So where we agree, Republicans must be the President’s strongest partners. And where we disagree, Republicans have a responsibility to be candid and offer better ideas for a path forward.

The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and enterprising spirit of our citizens.

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you – the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.

Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy. What it will do is grow the government, increase our taxes down the line, and saddle future generations with debt. Who among us would ask our children for a loan, so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need? That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It’s irresponsible. And it’s no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs, or build a prosperous future for our children.

In recent years, these distinctions in philosophy became less clear – because our party got away from its principles. You elected Republicans to champion limited government, fiscal discipline, and personal responsibility. Instead, Republicans went along with earmarks and big government spending in Washington. Republicans lost your trust – and rightly so.

A few weeks ago, the President warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said ‘we may not be able to reverse.’ Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don’t let anyone tell you that we cannot recover – or that America’s best days are behind her.

Not much in the way of new ideas there. The framing of the spending increases — “Who among us would ask our children for a loan, so we could spend money we do not have, on things we do not need?” — is especially thin gruel, as most Americans don’t think the stimulus package contained “things they don’t need.” And the talk of “earmarks and big government spending” as the reason for Republican defeat comes right out of the McCain campaign.

UPDATE: Ben Smith highlights the final section of this, in which Jindal says the president “warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said ‘we may not be able to reverse,’” and says that Jindal is “accusing the president, basically, of pessimism.”

True, but Jindal is being sort of dishonest in doing so. Obama was talking about the need to pass a stimulus package.

Each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.

Would the president still say, today, that the crisis won’t be reversed? Probably not, since the bill in question passed, and he signed it.

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