Feb 24,2009 00:00
BATON ROUGE, La. - Republicans are ready to work with President Barack Obama but warned they would remain true to their core tenets, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Tuesday.
Delivering the GOP response to Obama's speech before a joint session of Congress, Jindal called the recently signed, $787 billion economic stimulus package "irresponsible" and contended it is "no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs, or build a prosperous future for our children."
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want the economy to recover and the nation to prosper, Jindal said.
"So where we agree, Republicans must be the president's strongest partners," he said. "And where we disagree, Republicans have a responsibility to be candid and offer better ideas for a path forward."
Jindal, speaking from the governor's mansion in Baton Rouge, said Republicans appreciate Obama's message of hope, but "sometimes it seems like we look for hope in different places."
"Democratic leaders in Washington, they place their hope in the federal government," Jindal said. "We place our hope in you, the American people."
Ultimately, it is an "honest and fundamental" disagreement about government's role, Jindal said.
"We oppose the national Democratic view that says the way to strengthen our country is to increase dependence on government," he said. "We believe the way to strengthen our country is to restrain spending in Washington, to empower individuals and small businesses to grow our economy and create jobs."
Jindal, 37, is considered a rising star of the Republican Party. Previously this week, he gained attention for rejecting millions of dollars in unemployment assistance allocated to his state in the stimulus plan.
© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.