Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal said he won't apologize for comments he made about the minimum wage on Monday, claiming "substance is more important" than rhetoric.
"I'm not really sorry for saying it," Jindal told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday. "The reality is the substance is more important."
Jindal sparred with Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy over differences about raising the minimum wage, following a meeting on Monday with fellow governors and President Obama. He was quickly criticized for injecting debate after what had been seen as a cordial bipartisan meeting.
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"I'm a little surprised. Instead of having a debate about the substance, they just act offended. I know they're trying to defend their guy, and they're trying to defend their team. But this is about the American people. This is not about the Democrats and Republicans," Jindal said.
"We have serious disagreements with the president. I think in this country we're supposed to voice those disagreements," he added.
On Monday, Jindal said President Obama was "waving the white flag of surrender" by focusing on the minimum wage issue. He called the Obama economic policies "the minimum wage economy," and claimed the country could "do better than that."
"I don't think it's good to be waving the white flag of surrender and saying we can't do better than 2 percent economic growth, in what we see is one of the weakest recoveries since the end of the Second World War," he told the "Morning Joe" panel.
Obama was promoting the minimum wage debate as a "silver bullet" to use as a campaign issue, Jindal suggested. On the larger challenges facing the economy and job creation, he said the president had "given up."
"I just think that the president's given up. I think he's focused on campaign rhetoric and tactics instead of real serious policies," he said.
Democrats did not offer anything in defense of the president's policies, Jindal maintained. He said he thought they were upset with the substance of what he said, and "not just the fact that I criticized the president."
"You really didn't hear much of a defense of why isn't the president doing more," he said. "He says he's got the power of the pen, the power of the phone. Why doesn't he do more to create good paying jobs in our country?"
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