Louisiana Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal defended his controversial response to the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon this month in which he blamed the shooter's father for the massacre.
In a blog post on his campaign website, Jindal said the father of Chris Harper-Mercer should be embarrassed to show his face in public. Ian Mercer, the shooter's father, told CNN last weekend he was surprised to learn his son had gotten so many guns.
“The killer's father is now lecturing us on the need for gun control and he says he has no idea how or where his son got the guns,” Jindal wrote. “Of course he doesn’t know. You know why he doesn’t know? Because he is not, and has never been in his son’s life. He is a complete failure as a father, he should be embarrassed to even show his face in public. He’s the problem here.”
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Those comments sparked backlash, but Jindal doubled down Sunday during an interview on ABC's “This Week,” saying the father has no right to lecture the American people on gun control.
“We have a culture that doesn’t value life. We’ve got millions of boys growing up without a father figure, without that guidance at home. Too often these shooters are misguided young men,” said Jindal. “So you’ve got Hillary Clinton, [President] Barack Obama and now this shooter’s father lecturing us on the need for gun control. He doesn’t need to be lecturing us. He, by his own admission, didn’t know how his son got those guns, didn’t know how many guns his son had, by his own admission wasn’t involved in his sons life, hadn’t been communicating with him since he was living with his mother. He doesn’t need to be lecturing us on gun control.”
The shooting on October 1 left 10 people dead, including the shooter, and nine others injured.
Jindal, who barely registered in early polling, has seen a recent spike in his popularity in Iowa. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has Jindal tied for fifth place.