BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republican presidential contender Bobby Jindal offers history from a conservative viewpoint in a new book illustrating the "folly of looking to the government for the solution to all of our problems."
Tracing an arc from the Bill of Rights to President Barack Obama's health care law, the Louisiana governor came out Tuesday with "American Will," a book meant to advance his struggling campaign. Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn are co-authors with the governor.
REVISITING THE PAST
Jindal, 44, describes the history book as a "call to arms" that demonstrates how individual choices can steer the course of a country at one of America's "most consequential crossroads."
The book, Jindal's second, hits traditional Republican themes, praising former President Ronald Reagan, trashing Obama's health care overhaul and swiping at Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
He selects stories from the past, using well-known and lesser-known figures, to outline a political philosophy that emphasizes the Constitution's protections of states' rights and individual liberties.
HIS HISTORY LESSONS
Jindal uses his history lessons to accuse Obama of having "waged a war on the consciences of American Christians" and trying to undermine Second Amendment rights on firearms.
The Louisiana Purchase, in which Napoleon Bonaparte sold the Louisiana territory to Thomas Jefferson after France's attempt to build an empire in America failed, becomes a lesson about standing against the threat of aggression from a dictator and is used to critique the Obama administration's handling of the Islamic State group, the Iran nuclear deal and the war in Syria.
A revisiting of Joseph Kennedy's tenure as U.S. ambassador to Britain in the escalation to World War II is similarly devised as a cautionary tale against "appeasement," to criticize Obama's foreign policy.
"Appeasement, whether in the form of prisoner exchanges of hardened Guantanamo Bay terrorists to the Taliban or a lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran in exchange for empty promises of delaying its nuclear ambitions, only emboldens," Jindal writes.
JINDAL'S OWN HISTORY
Jindal doesn't focus his criticism exclusively on Democrats. He revisits — but slightly dials back — his often-quoted 2012 statement after Mitt Romney failed to win the presidency. He said the GOP needs to "stop being the stupid party." In the book, Jindal also says the Republican Party needs to offer detailed policy proposals rather than simply rejecting Democratic ideas.
"We need to be a party of solutions, and until we are, we will be, to a degree, the stupid party," Jindal writes.
He describes rejecting John McCain's request to vet him as a possible vice-presidential contender in 2008, saying he felt it was too soon to leave Louisiana because he had more to do as governor.
The son of Indian immigrants who raised him Hindu, Jindal also retells the story of his conversion to Catholicism as a teenager and describes the religious beliefs he's made a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. He says the role of religious faith in society will be one issue voters will decide when they choose a presidential candidate.