This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," May 28, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight: Well, it's exactly a shotgun wedding, but rather a gunned-down bride and groom at their own wedding. Now, their joyous wedding day turned into a bloodbath as a gunman opens fire. You will hear from the bride, shot in the head on her wedding day. I'm not kidding. That's exactly what happened.
But first, a big dust-up on the campaign trail. Senator McCain hits Senator Obama, saying he has a profound misunderstanding of what's happened in Iraq. Senator McCain is even offering to go to Iraq with Senator Obama. The New York Times, though, is reporting that Senator Obama is considering a trip to Iraq, but not with Senator McCain. A spokesperson for Senator Obama's campaign responded, saying a trip abroad is under consideration, but there are no plans at this point. But Iraq is a place to consider.
And well, we were all watching, wondering what was going on behind closed doors this weekend at Senator McCain's ranch in Sedona, Arizona. Was Senator McCain vetting potential vice presidential candidates, like Governor Romney, Governor Crist and Governor Jindal? So what did happen behind those closed doors?
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal was inside. He joins us live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Good evening, Governor.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA.: Greta, thank you very much for having me. Good evening.
VAN SUSTEREN: Good evening. Nice to see you. By the way, how's your state after Katrina? You — things getting better?
JINDAL: Actually, things are going very well. We've had now our third session. We've cut taxes. We're about to sign our sixth tax decrease or elimination. We've reformed our ethics laws. We went from 44th to first best in disclosure, working on workforce development. It's a great state to invest. We invite your viewers to come visit but also do business down there. It's a great state.
VAN SUSTEREN: And I suppose all those accomplishments is exactly why you got an invitation last weekend to that — what was it, a barbecue? What was that at Senator McCain's ranch?
JINDAL: Well, he's got a beautiful ranch out there. We went out for the weekend with nine other couples. The senator's very proud of his grilling skills. We did some hiking. We ate some great meals together. It was really a social weekend. And obviously, with four senators there, the business leaders, there were a lot of different topics discussed, but there was no discussion of the vice presidency. There were many conversations about our country, primarily a social weekend. I certainly enjoyed the invitation. The weather could have been a little bit warmer, but it was a beautiful — it was a beautiful weekend and a great time.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I'm going to ask a flip question, get down to a little more serious stuff, but do you like chumming around with governors? Like, I mean, do you hang out with Governor Crist or Governor Romney? Do governors hang out together ordinarily?
JINDAL: You know, I think it's actually a great opportunity to learn from each other. Florida has gone through an insurance crisis. They were hit by four hurricanes. It was great to learn from their experiences. I'm on the executive committee of the RGA, and I enjoyed both NGA and RGA, sharing with other governors what we're doing, but also hearing about them. There's no need to reinvent the wheel.
If you remember in the '90s, it was the governors that reformed Welfare. It was the governors that made a lot of the policy changes that led the country. Here in Louisiana, we've got to balance our budget. We cut taxes. We're going after corruption. I think we're doing a lot of things that Congress could learn from. We work across party lines.
I think many of these issues, if the Republicans in Congress had done that even when I was there, they'd still be in the majority. So I think governors and states are where a lot of the innovation's happening. I think it's a great chance to learn from each other.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you learn anything sort of fun or new about Governors Romney or Crist that you didn't know before, now that you've spent the weekend with them?
JINDAL: Oh, absolutely. Look, it was a great chance to hear — not only to learn about them personally. We got to spend some time with Governor Romney and his wife and Governor Crist, but also the senators who were there. We also heard a lot of humorous stories about their times on the campaign trail, kind of — and you get to know them more as people.
You know, a lot of the times you see these folks on TV or you meet them very quickly or meet them on the campaign trail, when they're in a rush. It's nice to hear about their kids or their grandkids.
You know, one of the most touching things was we got there Friday night, and it was raining heavily. Cindy McCain was more worried to make sure that her kids were safe, they weren't traveling in that weather. One of the McCain — many of the McCain children were there. One of the children, the Marine that has gone to Iraq, just had incredible stories to share with us.
So one of the nice things about talking to governors and senators and CEOs and other leaders in this setting is you get to see the human beings. You get to learn more about them as people, and I think that was the best part of the whole weekend.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, everybody's been there says this was not an audition for vice president, that there was no discussion. You said that yourself. But I mean, come on. What are the odds that three very, you know, attractive political vice presidential candidates would end up at a ranch with the guy who's going to get the nomination from the party on a weekend?
JINDAL: Well, look, the reality is I've got the job that I want. I campaigned telling people this is an historic time for Louisiana. We've got an incredible opportunity to change our state. You asked about Katrina and the recovery. The reality is, we had challenges before the storms with health care, with education, with economic development, with crime. We got an opportunity no other American state or city has had in our lifetimes.
Now, don't get me wrong. The storms were awful, caused a lot of destruction and death. But we've got a choice about how we want to rebuild, and I think we can rebuild better than we were before. Here's our chance to tell our people we can get health care in the private sector, not just government-run programs. Here's our chance to show that cutting taxes causes economic growth. Here's our chance to clean up the corruption. Here's our chance to replace the failed public housing policies of the past.
This is an exciting time to be a governor. It's an exciting time to be pushing policies here in Louisiana and creating a better quality of life for our people.
So I was — I was thrilled to get the invitation. My wife and I have three young children. It was a quick weekend getaway for both of us that we enjoyed, spending time with the McCains and others. But I tell you, McCain said all along it was a social time, and it really was. And it was an enjoyable time. But I'm thrilled to be back home, thrilled to be back here in Louisiana.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I know. You love that job, and I know we're all suspicious of that weekend, of what the purpose was. So let me ask you the constitutional question. How old are you? Are you old enough to be president? Because if you get — if you get picked as vice president, you know, if something could happen, you might have to move into that other job. How old are you?
JINDAL: I am 36. I'll be 37 in June. I feel a lot older, thanks to the kids, running around after them. But I tell you, you know, we've — we've got so much to do here. We're literally in the middle of our third session. We're about to enact the state's largest income tax cut in our history. There are a lot of great things happening, Fortune 1000 companies down here, moving down here. A Fortune 500 company is considering investing billions of dollars in our state. We've got the lowest unemployment rate we've had in 30 years in Louisiana. It's a great time. I want your viewers to come and invest or come visit and eat our great food, but come and invest here. There are a lot of opportunities to make money, create jobs. It's a great state to do business in right now.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. We only have a minute left, but I don't want people to think that you're just a great governor, so you (INAUDIBLE) Before that, you were a congressman, right?
JINDAL: I was, served three years, the president of the freshman class when I got there. And you know, I think if the Republicans in Congress, if they want to get back to the majority, it's about opposing these earmarks, these bridges to nowhere. It's about going after corruption. Whether they're Republicans or Democrats, we can't make excuses for them. It's about being on principled positions.
Republicans aren't going to get the majority simply by being cheaper Democrats. We've got to stick to our core principles and understand the reason that conservatives go out and vote is they want lower taxes and effective, competent government. They're not looking for earmarks or cheaper versions of liberal programs.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Governor. Well, thank you very much. I hope you come back when — you know, anytime. You're welcome back anytime. Of course, we're always watching you, and we've been to New Orleans and the rest of that area a lot since Katrina. But thank you, sir, for joining us.
JINDAL: Thank you, Greta. Have a great evening.
VAN SUSTEREN: You, too.
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