WASHINGTON, October 14, 2011 ( – Almost 20 years after a Democratic strategist made “it’s the economy, stupid” popular, Louisiana’s Republican Governor gave the phrase a new spin at this year’s Values Voter Summit – telling attendees, “It’s the culture stupid.” (See LSN video of excerpts from his talk)

“I’m going to make the case that even issues such as unemployment, insane levels of debt, irrational government, runaway deficits, absurd bailout programs, all important issues, all of them are details and byproducts of a much larger cultural concern,” Governor Bobby Jindal told social conservatives Friday in his speech.

“As the American culture goes, so goes America,” he said. “It’s the culture, stupid.”

Conceding that from a strategic standpoint, talking about economic issues is probably the “right” thing to do right now, Jindal said that as an American not running for president he has the luxury of not paying attention to what the political strategists say.

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Jindal explained that his wife and children are his number one priority, and that the same is true “for a lot of us gathered here today.”

“We see a coarsening of our culture in the arts, music, television, on the big screen, on the Internet, even on the cell phone,” Jindal said, admitting that there are “considerable challenges” for parents today.

“Try to find the family hour on network TV. Try to take your children to a movie without having to cover their eyes or cover their ears because of the language or what they might see,” he said.

“For people to thrive,” Jindal argued, “democracy only works as long as the people share our common commitment to doing what is right, to respect for all, to core values, to doing unto others as you have them do unto you, to selflessness, to peace, patience, kindness, and self-control.”

“Perhaps, some of you recognize a few of those phrases from another ancient manuscript,” he said, referencing the Bible.

Jindal said that some “want to believe that a completely secular society is a desirable goal for America,” and that “capitalism, democracy and military might will secure American success and prosperity regardless of the health of our culture.” However, he said, Americans believe this “at our own peril.”

“I believe it’s the culture, stupid. I rest my case,” he concluded.

Louisiana’s pro-life governor in July signed an abortion alternatives bill into law. Jindal last year signed into law three abortion reform bills, including one that made Louisiana the fourth state to opt-out of the Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act abortion mandate.