National Press Club

Jindal on Trump: "He may be Hillary Clinton's only hope"

September 10, 2015 | By Wesley G. Pipert | PippertW@missouri.edu

Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, attacks the Obama Administration's proposed nuclear agreement with Iran at a National Press Club Newsmaker, Sept, 10, 2015.

Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, attacks the Obama Administration's proposed nuclear agreement with Iran at a National Press Club Newsmaker, Sept, 10, 2015.

Photo/Image: Al Teich

In calculated stinging remarks, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Thursday characterized fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump as "dangerous ... a narcissist ... an egomaniac madman" though at his core he is "insecure and weak."

"Donald Trump is for Donald Trump," Jindal told a news conference at the National Press Club. It was almost certainly the harshest criticism of Trump yet made by members of the vast array of Republican presidential candidates.

"If we nominate him, he will self-destruct in a massive way in a general election,"Jindal said. "He may be Hillary Clinton's only hope."

"He's dangerous because (to nominate or elect him) we would blow an opportunity to change the United States," Jindal said. "Give him another TV show but don't put him in the White House ... we have no idea what he would actually do in the White House."

Time and again Jindal, both in his prepared text and as delivered, repeated his characterization of Trump as narcissistic and egomaniacal. "He's shallow, no substance."

Jindal, whose own campaign has been lagging, said he was putting aside his own political mission for the day to take on Trump.

"You can't argue policy with this guy," Jindal said, "because the only thing he believes in is himself."

"He's entertaining," Jindal said. "But Donald Trump is insecure and weak and that's why he says he's big and strong and wealthy."

"It's time to tell Donald Trump -- no, we will not put an egomaniacal unserious person in the White house -- 'you're fired.'"

"He's not a liberal, he's not a moderate, and he's not a conservative. He's not a Republican, Democrat or independent. He's not for anything or against anything," Jindal said. "He's for Donald."

Jindal said Trump could not quote a favorite Bible verse though saying the Bible is his favorite book. Jindal said mockingly that Trump hasn't read the Bible "because he's not in it."

During the Q&A period, Jindal described himself and his campaign as a conservative reformer who favors limited government and who as governor of Louisiana has cut spending and the size of its government.

On other issues, he said:
-- He opposes the nuclear deal reached with Iran by saying, "Iran conned President [Barack] Obama, and President Obama conned the Senate." As for Gen. Colin Powell's and European nations' support of the agreement, "at the end of the day, let's judge the deal for ourselves."
-- The refugee problem in Europe could be traced back to Obama's drawing a "red line" in Syria but then not following through on it.
-- when asked whether he would commit ground troops against the Islamic state, "I'm willing to do whatever is necessary to eliminate ISIL," adding that "a continued incremental approach is not what is needed to wipe out ISIL."
-- that as a former congressman "I understand the frustration" among the GOP leadership on Capitol Hill but also criticized them by saying "nothing has happened" on two key issues of opposing amnesty (for undocumented immigrants) and repealing the Affordable Care Act. "We have to fight just as hard to get rid of Obamacare" as the Democrats did in getting passage. The big problem with ACA, he said, was that it reduces patients' freedom.

Jindal said his criticism of Trump -- who is leading in the polls -- had not come too late and he will continue to campaign in every state.