Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), a potential 2016 presidential hopeful, on Thursday called for changes to the Patriot Act, as Congress hurdles toward the deadline for reauthorizing the controversial program that’s pitted Republican presidential hopefuls against each other.
“I think we need the tools to hunt down terrorists and protect ourselves from them, but where I think we need to draw the line is the mass collection of data of innocent Americans,” he said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Jindal’s comments come as the likely GOP candidates continue to pick sides ahead of Congress’s May 31 deadline to reauthorize major pieces of the Patriot Act. The Bush and Obama administrations have used Section 215 to justify warrantless collection of phone records.
Paul has led the charge against the programs and has argued they are unconstitutional, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) backs compromise legislation that reforms pieces of the programs without slashing them outright.
Fellow GOP presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) is an ardent supporter of the policies and has framed them as essential to protecting the country from terrorists. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush shares Rubio's viewpoint and has called the programs the “best part of the Obama administration.”
Jindal started a presidential exploratory committee this week, but he has said he will not decide on whether he'll join the race until June.