Bobby Jindal: President Obama “trying to scare the American public” on spending cuts

Jonathan Karl, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps
Power Players

Politics Confidential

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R - La.) accused President Obama of playing "political theater" by warning that looming across-the-board spending cuts set to go into effect on Friday will have a devastating impact on the government's ability to function and provide for the nation's most vulnerable, saying the cuts can be made in ways that are less damaging.

"The reality is that this is just part of political theater, part of the campaign," Jindal told Politics Confidential following a luncheon at the White House for the National Governors Association. "He's trying to scare the American people. He's trying to distort the impact."

The White House released a report Sunday night detailing the state-by-state impact of the cuts known as 'the sequester'; the report says that just in Jindal's state of Louisina, 1,730 fewer children will receive vaccines, while $488,000 will be cut from a nutrition assistance programs that provides meals to seniors, among other cuts.

But Jindal says the president could cut the $85 billion required by sequestration without impacting programs like these.

"Your job as the chief executive is to outline to Congress how you would prioritize these reductions, and you can cut $85 billion and protect critical services," says Jindal, calling on the president. "Every governor has done that. Since I've been a governor, I've done that."

Jindal continued on to say that the president could save tens of billions of dollars by delaying the implementation of new programs that haven't gone into effect yet instead of the cuts outlined in the White House's Sunday report.

To hear more of Jindal’s interview, including why he won’t compromise on tax increases, check out this week’s Politics Confidential.

ABC's Alexandra Dukakis contributed to this episode.