OSKALOOSA, Iowa – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has a warning for corporate America: Throwing your weight behind liberal causes like gay rights will come back to haunt you.
“Corporate America needs to understand,” Jindal said on Friday. “If they won’t stand up for religious liberty freedoms, they will lose their free market freedoms.”
The Republican and likely 2016 candidate criticized businesses who advocated last month against Indiana and Arkansas’ religious freedom laws and pressured lawmakers to add protections for gay and lesbians, saying their free market principles were at risk if they continued.
“My message to corporate America is that we need to stand up for religious liberty rights, because these are the same conservatives who will stand up for your economic freedoms as well,” Jindal told msnbc after his speech, at a benefit dinner for the Mahaska County GOP. “Be careful, this unnatural alliance with the radical left is not a sustainable one.”
Jindal’s hits against big business come as the Republican governor targets corporate giveaways in his budget – advocating to eliminate half a billion in subsides that he equates with unnecessary spending – and paints himself as a populist, vowing a surge of “conservative populism” in the 2016 election.
“In this election, there will be more and more clash between the elites and populists,” he told msnbc as he explained his efforts to remove the subsidies for Louisiana businesses, some of which don’t pay any income taxes at all, according to a recent audit.
“We need to get all the sweetheart deals out of the tax code. I think that resonates not only in Louisiana but across the country,” Jindal said. “I think we’re going to see more conservatives saying we’re tired with the folks with lobbyists getting sweetheart deals.”