Bobby Jindal speaks at the the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Forum in Des Moines in September. (Photo: Brian C. Frank/Reuters)
Bobby Jindal once called Donald Trump a “shallow, unserious, substance-free, narcissistic egomaniac” and “a madman who must be stopped.” Now the former Louisiana governor is endorsing him for president.
In an op-ed entitled “I’m voting Trump, warts and all,” published by the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Jindal argues that while Trump is by no means an ideal choice for commander in chief, he’s better than the alternative — though not by much.
“I think electing Donald Trump would be the second-worst thing we could do this November, better only than electing Hillary Clinton to serve as the third term for the Obama administration’s radical policies,” Jindal wrote in the op-ed. “I am not pretending that Mr. Trump has suddenly become a conservative champion or even a reliable Republican: He is completely unpredictable. The problem is that Hillary is predictably liberal.”
“I do not pretend Donald Trump is the Reaganesque leader we so desperately need, but he is certainly the better of two bad choices,” he continued. “Hardly an inspiring slogan, I know. It would be better to vote for a candidate rather than simply against one. If current trends hold, I will be among the many complaining this fall about my choices.”
But Jindal, who dropped his own bid for the Republican nomination in November, says the stakes for the GOP “are simply too high” not to back the brash billionaire.
“I have no idea what Mr. Trump might do,” Jindal continued, “while Mrs. Clinton is predictable. Both are scary, the former less so.”
Jindal’s endorsement of Trump, albeit tepid, stands in contrast to the feelings he expressed about the presumptive Republican nominee in an op-ed for CNN in September.
“Like all narcissists, Trump is insecure, weak and afraid of being exposed,” Jindal wrote. “That’s why he’s constantly telling us how big and rich and great he is, and how insignificant everyone else is.”
“Like a kid in a superhero costume, Trump compares himself to Ronald Reagan, wearing the Gipper’s slogan on his forehead as if he just thought of it,” Jindal continued. “But whereas Reagan was a terrible entertainer and a great statesman, Trump is a great entertainer who would be a terrible statesman.”
“We face a choice,” he continued. “We can decide to win, or we can be the biggest fools in history and put our faith not in our principles, but in an egomaniac who has no principles.”
Jindal warned that “failure to speak out against Trump is an endorsement of Clinton,” and that Trump’s nomination would “gift the White House” to her.
“He would self-destruct in a general election. In fact, he may be Clinton’s only hope,” Jindal wrote. “If you want to stick it to the man so badly that you are willing to see Clinton win, vote for Trump.”
In his Wall Street Journal op-ed, Jindal wrote that he stands by all of his previous criticisms of Trump, but “the stakes for the country are too great to elect Clinton.”