Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during his prayer rally, The ORG XMIT: BAT1501241514234603


For the second time in as many weeks, former Gov. Bobby Jindal has graced the pages of the Wall Street Journal's opinion section to give his take on the future of the Republican Party.

In an op-ed published online Wednesday, Jindal warns that President Donald Trump's base "may not be sustainable" and urges Republican leaders to get in tune with conservative voters' priorities.

"The GOP needs to spend political capital accomplishing the priorities not merely of its donors but also its voters—for instance, by protecting religious freedom. Finally, Republican leaders have to lead," Jindal writes. "They have to persuade instead of pander, to expand the conservative coalition by building bridges where possible and evangelizing where not. Simply making another Trump joke may help party bigwigs feel good about themselves, but it only enhances the resentment that put him into office."

The latest piece echos a similar assessment that Jindal, a two-term governor who also sought the Republican nomination for president in 2015 and frequently criticized Trump in the primary campaign, expressed in a Jan. 31 WSJ op-ed, in which he wrote that "Republicans must learn to consolidate and build on (Trump's) base" while focusing on conservative principles.

Jindal, 46, was once seen as a rising star in the Republican party but has maintained a relatively low profile since leaving office in January 2016 and after his presidential campaign failed to gain much traction in the crowed Republican field. One of Jindal's tactics on the campaign trail was to harshly criticize Trump, calling him "a narcissist and an egomaniac" who "looks like he's got a squirrel sitting on his head."

Jindal, who drew national headlines in 2013 when he called for Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” during a keynote address at a Republican National Committee meeting, has taken to the speaking circuit since leaving office.

In his op-ed this week, Jindal writes that those who say Trump should be "more presidential" miss the reason why his base supported him.

"Mr. Trump’s style is part of his substance. His most loyal supporters back him because of, not despite, his brash behavior," he writes. "He would not be in the Oval Office today had he followed a conventional path or listened to the advisers telling him to tone down his rhetoric and discipline his behavior. If Republican primary voters had wanted a border wall, tax cuts and sound judges without the drama, they could have picked Ted Cruz. Instead they elected Mr. Trump for exactly the reasons that the mainstream media, late-night comics, and party elites cannot stand him."

Read Jindal's full opinion piece at the Wall Street Journal (Subscription required).

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.