Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who endorsed Rick Perry last month, voiced his opposition to the Perry-backed Texas legislation that provides in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.
“I don’t,” Jindal said when asked on FOX News whether he agreed with the governor’s support for the plan. “He and I aren’t going to agree a hundred percent on everything but I do respect the fact that they’ve spent $400 million of Texas taxpayer dollars to help secure the border.”
Perry’s adamant support for the legislation, which offers illegal immigrants access to in-state tuition rates to Texas public colleges and universities, has haunted him since a FOX News debate in Florida last month, with many conservatives throwing criticism at the Texas governor.
Jindal refused to criticize Mitt Romney, who is polling higher than Perry, for hiring a lawn service company that employed illegal immigrants, an attack the Texas governor made on Romney in Tuesday night’s debate in Las Vegas, and instead pointed to both governors’ dedication to strengthening the border.
“I think both Gov. Perry and Gov. Romney understand that President Obama has failed to secure the border, and I think at the end of the day, both these governors understand that we can’t continue to have an open border,” Jindal said. “We need to use whatever it takes to secure our border, stop this problem of illegal immigration. The answer’s not amnesty, and I think both governors understand that.”
But Jindal did express his appreciation for the combative nature of Tuesday night’s debate.
“Presidential politics is kind of like SEC football,” he said, referring to the college conference that includes No. 1 ranked Louisiana State University. ”It’s a contact, full contact sport. It’s a tough battle. For too many years, the Republican party, we’ve kind of pre-selected our candidate. I’m glad there’s a rough-and-tumble debate because that will make our eventual nominee stronger. The reality is we need somebody who’s going to be strong enough to beat President Obama.
“I am supporting Rick Perry,” Jindal said. “I think either of those guys, both of them have been governors, both Gov. Romney and Gov. Perry would be better than President Obama.”