Photo credit: Dave Davidson (Prezography.com)
Photo credit: Dave Davidson (Prezography.com)

When you are traveling is an awesome time to receive breaking news.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced late this afternoon that he was suspending his campaign.  I received a text from one of his campaign staffers, but being in Ottumwa, IA ready to head to Burlington I was not near a TV to watch and I’ve just now reached my hotel so I could do some writing.  I love my iPhone, but it is not made for writing articles.

I’ve been asked my reaction a lot (that same iPhone I mentioned blew up right after his announcement).  Here are some quick thoughts.

I don’t regret my decision to endorse Governor Jindal.  He was one of the best qualified candidates in terms of policy, principles and accomplishment.

I knew he was going to be a long shot, but I did feel Iowa was a possibility and that he would stay in the race until then.  He said as much, but I understand that circumstances change and he was in a spot where he could not move on and he had to make a decision.  I’m disappointed, but I can respect that.

I am disturbed by this trend that somehow experience and expertise disqualifies one from being President.  I believe it is a standard that we could very well regret.

The Republican National Committee did voters a disservice through their national polling criteria for debates.  The debates have driven the media attention which drives polling due to name recognition which drives further media attention which impacts fundraising.  Frankly, it has turned our nominating process into a popularity contest.  I’ve also been disappointed by some who have bowed to the altar of electability and had the audacity to chastise me for backing a candidate who they deemed to be “not electable” they should know better.

Now it seems for any candidate to have a chance they have to already have established name recognition and money before the race begins.  This current trend also rewards those who spend the least amount of time in Iowa and New Hampshire. That does not do the Republican Party any good.

Will I endorse again?  There will not be another formal joint endorsement under the Caffeinated Thoughts banner… Once is enough.  I’ve already been contacted by several campaigns, but I’m going to take a few days to think and process all of this before I announce who I’m personally backing.  I will, but it’s not going to be tomorrow and it won’t be this week.

You have not seen the last of Bobby Jindal. I would not be surprised to see him play a role in the next Republican administration.  At the very least he’ll be leading the charge for sound, conservative policy.

Here is Jindal’s announcement in case you missed it.

I cannot tell you what an honor it has been to run for President of the United States of America. My parents came to this country 45 years ago searching for freedom and a chance.

When I was born, we lived in student housing at LSU, and never in their wildest dreams did they think their son would have the opportunity to serve as Governor of Louisiana or to run for President.

They raised me to believe Americans can do anything, and they were right, we can. But this is not my time, so I am suspending my campaign for President.

Going forward, I believe we have to be the party of growth and we can never stop being the party that believes in opportunity. We cannot settle for The Left’s view of envy and division. We have to be the party that says everyone in this country – no matter the circumstances of their birth or who their parents are – can succeed in America.

One of the things I will do is go back to work at the think tank I started a few years ago – where I will be outlining a blueprint for making this the American century.

We must show the way forward on growing our economy and winning the war against terror, and especially defeating radical Islam.

I realize that our country is off on the wrong track right now. Everyone knows that, but don’t forget, this is still the greatest country in the history of the world – and every single one of us should start every day by thanking God that we are fortunate enough to be US citizens.

Now is the time for all those Americans who still believe in freedom and American exceptionalism to stand up and defend it. The idea of America – the idea that my parents came here for almost a half a century ago – that idea is slipping away from us. Freedom is under assault from both outside our borders and from within. We must act now, we do not have a moment to spare.

Some of the presidential candidates commented on Jindal’s decision to leave the race:

“Governor Jindal is a committed public servant and strong conservative leader.  He brought a tremendous energy and passion for returning America to its rightful place in the World.  This is not the last the country has heard from Bobby Jindal and I wish him and his family the best in their next pursuits,” former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) said.

“Governor Jindal is a true conservative and a principled leader, whose story epitomizes the American Dream. Governor Jindal has served the people of Louisiana with distinction, and I have no doubt that he will play an important role in helping to elect the next President of the Unites States, and beyond. I wish him and his family all the best,” U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said.

“Bobby Jindal is a friend, a patriot, and an incredible governor who has consistently and passionately championed conservative values. He brought a unique talent and many strengths to the Republican primary competition,” U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) stated.  “His focus on substantive policy matters advanced the debate that our party must have on the issues most important to American voters. And his vision for fundamental tax reform, as well as repealing and replacing Obamacare, helped set an important standard among the Republican field. He presented bold policy proposals that helped strengthen the ideas put forth in this primary to prepare our eventual nominee for the general election.”

“Bobby will always be an important conservative leader in the Republican Party and serve to better the future of our country. Heidi and I wish Supriya, Bobby, and their family all the best,” Cruz added.

“Governor Bobby Jindal is one of the smartest and deepest thinking people in our entire Republican Party. His departure from the Presidential race hopefully is not a departure from the battle to make America better. The next President should hope that Governor Jindal would be willing to bring his intellect and his experience to the cabinet. I personally respect the authenticity of his faith, and his commitment to the highest ideals of our great Republic,” former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush tweeted.

Dr. Ben Carson tweeted:

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham on Twitter said:

Former candidate Rick Perry tweeted.

 

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