Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal may not be winning over enough voters to win his party's nomination in 2016, but in Iowa, he's making a lot of new fans, should he decide to try again in the future.
During an American Renewal Project event held in Des Moines, the first-in-the-nation caucus state's capital, on Thursday evening, Jindal spoke at great length about his personal testimony—a story he has shared frequently along the campaign trail. He also spoke about recent persecution of Christians in the U.S.
"Jesus told us this would happen, but every time it happens, we're somehow surprised," he said. "But if you look in the Bible, on the last page, our God wins. He's already beaten death; he's beaten Satan for us. We know God wins."
Jindal had the biggest impact on the audience comprised of pastors and Christian political activists during the question-and-answer session that followed. Matthew Ung, a pro-life Republican Woodbury County supervisor, stood up and asked about Jindal's efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and end abortion in Louisiana.
The matter is one in which Jindal has been in stark contrast to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, one of the other 33 Republican governors in the U.S., who has refused to take action to fully defund Planned Parenthood. Jindal called the difference of opinion a "disagreement," and said he has sent a letter to Branstad and the other Republican governors, calling on them to follow his example.
During the 2010 election campaign, in a televised debate, Branstad pledged to fully defund Planned Parenthood, which operates all but two of the facilities in Iowa that perform abortions. Following the release of videos from the Center for Medical Progress, which showed how Planned Parenthood used abortions to drive up its profits, there has been building pressure for Branstad to fulfill his 5-year-old campaign promise.
Jindal didn't attack Branstad over the difference of opinion, but did encourage participants to engage their governors. He said it is true that Planned Parenthood would likely sue, and engage in false-information and smear campaigns to put pressure on those governors, but also suggested there is greater strength in solidarity on the life issue.
"There are 34 Republican governors," he said. "What if they all said, 'We're going to defund Planned Parenthood'?"
"The next big test on this issue will be in Congress," he added. "If the Republican Party can't stand for innocent life, then what good is the Republican Party?"
Jindal then continued, saying that the "liberal media" will frame the issue as Republicans want to defund government.
"But we're funding government; we're just not funding Planned Parenthood," he finished. "It's up to the president after that. How come they won't ask the president, 'Are you really willing to shut down the government just to continue funding your political allies?'"