Louisiana Democrats claim Gov. Bobby Jindal’s use of the governor’s office to take aim at Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign for president is a “flagrant abuse of power and violation of the law.”
In a statement released by the Louisiana governor’s office, Jindal said Paul’s comments make him “unsuited to be Commander-in-Chief.”
Paul launched his 2016 presidential campaign last month.
State law prohibits the use of public resources to “urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate.”
“We’re calling on the state attorney general to begin an immediate investigation into this flagrant abuse of power and violation of the law,” Stephen Handwerk, executive director for the Louisiana Democratic Party, said in a statement. “The state constitution is crystal clear on this point: Jindal broke the law. And he hasn’t even officially started his campaign yet.”
Asked by The Advocate, the governor’s office defended its use of state staff and letterhead to blast Paul’s run for president.
“Matters of national security are very important to Louisianians, and Louisiana is home to many American soldiers. The suggestion that the governor of Louisiana cannot or should not comment on matters of national security is without merit,” Jindal spokesman Mike Reed said in a statement.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday, Paul said, “ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most these arms were snatched up by ISIS.”
Later in the morning, Jindal, who has formed a presidential exploratory committee as he weighs his own 2016 run, released the statement, which reads in full:
“This is a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be Commander-in-Chief. We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position.
It’s one thing for Senator Paul to take an outlandish position as a Senator at Washington cocktail parties, but being Commander-in-Chief is an entirely different job. We should all be clear that evil and Radical Islam are at fault for the rise of ISIS, and people like President Obama and Hillary Clinton exacerbate it.
American weakness, not American strength, emboldens our enemies. Senator Paul’s illogical argument clouds a situation that should provide pure moral clarity. Islam has a problem. ISIS is its current manifestation. And the next President’s job is to have the discipline and strength to wipe ISIS off the face of the earth. It has become impossible to imagine a President Paul defeating radical Islam and it’s time for the rest of us to say it.”