OTR Interviews

Jindal endorses Rubio: 'Marco can unify our party'

La. governor and former presidential candidate goes 'On the Record' to announce his endorsement in the 2016 presidential race

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 5, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Breaking 2016 news: Louisiana governor and one time presidential candidate Governor Bobby Jindal is here with a major announcement. Let's get right to it.

Governor, nice to see you.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, FORMER GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Greta, thank you for having me. It's great to be here.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you are here to make a presidential endorsement. Who are you endorsing?

JINDAL: I am. I'm endorsing Marco Rubio to be our next president. And, Greta, I'm doing that for three reasons. Look, we have a lot of great candidates running. A lot of my friends are running. The reality is these are very dangerous times. This president has weakened our standing on the foreign stage. Our enemies don't fear us. Our friends don't trust us. Marco has been consistent about strengthening America's foreign policy.

VAN SUSTEREN: Haven't they all? I mean, haven't all the Republican said that. I mean, they've all said they want to strengthen our foreign -- our national security?

JINDAL: Well, but there are significant differences. Marco has consistently stood up to the threat of ISIS and radical Islam.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the others haven't?

JINDAL: Well, look, I'm not here to criticize the other candidates. I've got friends that are running. I respect them. I've got friends supporting other candidates. I do think Marco is best positioned. This election is about the future.

Look, I'm an ideas guy. We've got to turn the page on the Obama administration. I offered detailed policies for America. Next, how do we rebuild our economy. Marco is doing that as well. And here's the third and important point.

Greta, this is the most important election of our lifetime. We've got growing dependence on government. We've got more and more debt being piled on our children's back. Marco can unify our party. His optimistic message is bringing voters from across the party lines, from across different demographic groups. He can unify our party. He can win this election in November. We cannot afford four more years of this president's disastrous policies. I think he's a principled conservative. I think he is the right guy to lead us forward.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me play devil's advocate with you. First of all, you got Governors Kasich and Bush and Christie. They have actually had to deal with these problems in terms of the size of government -- state government. And then you talk about sort of unifying the parties. It's that I know a lot of Republicans weren't happy with the immigration deal, but Senator Rubio is unable to unify everyone behind his position.

JINDAL: A couple things. Look, Marco has been a principled conservative. I know some of his opponents are trying to say, well, he's part of the establishment. That's nonsense.

He was a conservative when he took on Charlie Crist. He was a conservative speaker of the house in Florida. He's been a conservative in the United States Senate. He has got a great record of accomplishment. I think too many people in D.C. get caught up on how many bills do you have your names on. He has done several things here.

For example, he led the fight for sanctions in Hezbollah. He led the fight against the ObamaCare bailout for insurance companies. He led the fight to give the V.A. power to fire executives not doing their jobs.

VAN SUSTEREN: He led the fight to accomplish those fights.

JINDAL: He did. Those are three things that he passed. But, look, Greta, the reality is the voters back home don't care. People here in D.C. argue whether your name is on this bill or that bill. What they care about is it is harder to get a job in this economy. What they care about is that we've got record numbers of Americans under this president on food stamps. The American dream is not about the government taking care of you. Marco has fought for the American dream. We're both children of immigrants.

I don't think he takes the American dream for granted. I think he wakes up every day saying the American dream is about opportunity. You should be able to work hard, get a great education. Every child should be able to realize their potential. I don't think he will ever take that for granted. I think he understands it's not about the government taking care of you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, thank you very much for joining us. Thank you for coming here and making your endorsement public here. I appreciate it, sir.

JINDAL: Thank you, Greta. Thank you for having me.