Bobby Jindal Slams Obama’s Foreign Policy

Calls for defense spending increase, increased pressure on Iran

Bobby Jindal
Bobby Jindal / AP

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized President Obama and called for increased defense spending in a Monday speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

Jindal said the United States should increase spending to the levels recommended by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in 2011.

"It is amazing to me that at a time we are spending a record amount on our federal government we are actually spending less than in seventy years defending our country," Jindal told the crowd. "It is better to have peace through strength than war through weakness."

Jindal said he is "thinking and praying" about a presidential run, but that he won’t make that decision until after the holidays. He did, however, take a shot at likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"If only [President Obama] had had the help of a wise steady hand, a policy expert in dealing with foreign affairs, he would have come up with better answers, but instead he just had Hillary Clinton."

Jindal called Obama’s pivot to Asia a "shell" of a good policy that he never followed up on. He also criticized the president for announcing the United States would not deploy ground troops against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

"Nobody was arguing that we needed to lead with ground troops, but to take these options off the table unilaterally seems to me to be a very foolish way to deter our enemies and to win the peace," Jindal said.

Jindal refused to backtrack on previous controversial statements calling for a ban on flights from West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. He made sure to point out that he only wants to ban civilian flights.

"I’m not arguing that we should not allow medical and defense and other personnel into West Africa," he said. "I’m saying it just makes sense to stop these civilian flights from West Africa into the United States, at the very least as a common sense step to protect our country to make sure you don’t see this spread here."

Jindal also said a nuclear-armed Iran is the greatest existential threat to the United States.

"Make no mistake about it, a nuclear armed Iran does not stop with Iran," Jindal said. "Once Iran has that capability you’re going to see other countries including the Saudis and other countries also want and progress to have that nuclear capability, and the United States will not be in a very strong position to stop them from doing that once they have failed to contain Iran’s ability to have a nuclear weapon."