- The Washington Times - Monday, May 9, 2016

Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal argued Sunday that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is the lesser of two evils when matched with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Jindal wrote that while he sympathizes with the “Never Trump” movement for its “principled” and “courageous” stand to preserve the Republican party, he has decided to support Mr. Trump because “the stakes for my country, not merely my party, are simply too high.”

“I was one of the earliest and loudest critics of Mr. Trump,” the former Republican presidential candidate wrote. “I mocked his appearance, demeanor, ideology and ego in the strongest language I have ever used to publicly criticize anyone in politics. I worked harder than most, with little apparent effect, to stop his ascendancy. I have not experienced a sudden epiphany and am not here to detail an evolution in my perspective.

“I think electing Donald Trump would be the second-worst thing we could do this November, better only than electing Hillary Clinton to serve as the third term for the Obama administration’s radical policies,” he continued. “I am not pretending that Mr. Trump has suddenly become a conservative champion or even a reliable Republican: He is completely unpredictable. The problem is that Hillary is predictably liberal.”

Mr. Jindal went on to slam Mrs. Clinton’s relationship with the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as her policies on health care, domestic energy and the national debt. He said that while Mrs. Clinton is predictable on many subjects, he finds Mr. Trump’s unpredictability less “scary.”

“The next president will make a critical appointment to the Supreme Court, who will cast the tiebreaking vote in important cases that will set precedents for years to come,” Mr. Jindal wrote. “In my lifetime, no Democrat in the White House has ever appointed a Supreme Court justice who surprised the nation by becoming more conservative, while the opposite certainly cannot be said for Republican appointments. Mr. Trump might not support a constitutionalist conservative focused on original intent and limits on the court’s powers. He may be more likely to appoint Judge Judy. However, there is only a chance that a President Trump would nominate a bad justice, while Mrs. Clinton certainly would.

“I do not pretend Donald Trump is the Reaganesque leader we so desperately need, but he is certainly the better of two bad choices. Hardly an inspiring slogan, I know. It would be better to vote for a candidate rather than simply against one. If current trends hold, I will be among the many complaining this fall about my choices,” he wrote. “I understand why so many of my Republican friends are in denial, while many of my Democratic friends gleefully anticipate and applaud defections. The media is poised to reward those ‘courageous’ Republicans ready to do the ‘right thing’ and endorse Hillary. Count me out.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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