Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, age 43, jumped into the race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination on Wednesday joining a crowded field. He took aim at the Republican establishment and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in a speech given in Kenner, LA.
Jindal joins U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, former New York Governor George Pataki, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Bush, and businessman Donald Trump.
Jindal like several other candidates first announced on Twitter this morning with a tweet that highlighted an announcement video showing Jindal and his wife Supriya breaking the news to his three children about his decision to run for President.
Jindal’s formal announcement came at a rally that drew hundreds of supporters. Speaking just over 22 minutes he highlighted his record cutting the budget by 26% and reducing the size of state government by 30,000 employees.
He said his approach to running for President is different than the rest of the field. “The United States of America – was made great by people who get things done. Not lots of talk or entertaining speeches. To be sure, there are a lot of great talkers running for President already,” Jindal noted. “But none of them, not one, can match our record of actually shrinking the size of government. If great speeches helped our country, we would be on easy street right now. The guy in the White House today is a great talker, and we have a bunch of great talkers running for President. We’ve had enough of talkers, it’s time for a doer. I’m not running for president to be somebody, I’m running for President to do something.”
He painted himself as an anti-establishment candidate and criticized the Republican Party for being “beaten into submission” and is increasingly “afraid to tell the truth”
“It’s time to say what everyone is thinking –the emperors in Washington are not wearing any clothes. In case it’s not clear by now, I’m running for President without permission from headquarters in Washington DC. But rest assured — I’m tanned, rested, and ready for this fight,” Jindal stated.
Jindal addressed his critics who have complained about how much he talks about his faith in Jesus Christ. Jindal said he would not be silenced in order to meet their “expectations of political correctness.”
“They don’t accept the idea that you can be both intellectual and Christian. They can’t fathom the notion that you can be both smart and conservative. But, they need to get out more. There’s a big country out here with millions of Americans who believe in God and are not ashamed to say so,” Jindal said.
He noted voters should exercise caution from a President who doesn’t seek God’s guidance. “I would be wary of a president who didn’t seek wisdom from the Almighty. I don’t know about you, but I’ve met many very smart people who lack wisdom,” Jindal stated. “Yet Christianity is under assault today in America. But the liberals have forgotten their history. Religious liberty is not some quaint notion from the past. It is fundamental to our freedom. That’s why it is protected in the First Amendment to the Constitution. I’m going to say this slowly so that even Hillary Clinton can understand it. America did not create religious liberty, religious liberty created the United States of America.”
Jindal addressing immigration said he did not want to see the United States go the way of Europe.
“We cannot allow people to immigrate to this country so that they can use our freedoms to undermine our freedoms. That’s exactly what has happened in Europe, where they have 2nd and 3rd generations of immigrants who refuse to embrace the values and culture of the countries they have moved into. We must not let that happen here,” Jindal asserted. “It is not unreasonable to demand that if you immigrate to America, you must do so legally, and you must be ready and willing to embrace our values, learn English, and roll up your sleeves and get to work.”
Jindal swiped at Bush who was the only other candidate he addressed directly in his speech. He linked Bush with Republicans who don’t stand up for their values because “they are afraid to lose.” He noted that is a losing strategy. “You’ve heard Jeb Bush say that we need to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general election,” Jindal said and then joked that his campaign will work to help him lose the primary. He added, “Let me translate that for you, I’m going to translate that from political-speak into plain English. He is saying that we need to hide our conservative ideals. But the truth is, if we go down that road again, we will lose again. Let’s do something new, let’s endorse our own principles for a change and boldly speak the truth without fear.”
Jindal in his closing remarks outlined his four objections. He said he would replace Obamacare with a free market system that reduces costs. He claimed he was the only candidate with a plan that would do that. He also said focusing on growing the private sector economy by shrinking the size of the federal government. He also said he would secure the borders and rebuild America’s defenses.
He noted that may not appeal to everyone. “If you are looking for a candidate who will politely manage America’s descent into mediocrity, I’m not your man,” Jindal stated. “But… if you are chasing a dream and looking for a land where the people are free, and the opportunities are real, I’m asking you to believe.”
It will be a long road bumpy road to the White House. Jindal enters the race as a long shot according to polling. He trails in national polls with a Real Clear Politics average of 1%, but only 13 points separates Jindal from Bush who leads.
Watch his announcement remarks here or below: