Bobby Jin­dal drops out of US pres­i­den­tial race

Kuwait Times - - INTERNAT IONAL -

WASH­ING­TON: Repub­li­can Louisiana Gov­er­nor Bobby Jin­dal an­nounced yes­ter­day he was bow­ing out of the 2016 pres­i­den­tial race, say­ing “this is not my time”. “I’ve come here to an­nounce that I’m sus­pend­ing my cam­paign for pres­i­dent of the United States,” Jin­dal told Fox News. “It’s been an in­cred­i­ble honor to run for pres­i­dent of this great coun­try,” he added in a post on Twit­ter.

Jin­dal’s cam­paign failed to gain trac­tion this year. He lan­guished near the back of the big Repub­li­can pack seek­ing the GOP nom­i­na­tion, a group that in­cluded sev­eral politi­cians - and po­lit­i­cal neo­phytes - with higher pro­files. He of­ten polled at un­der one per­cent sup­port, and his cam­paign faced fi­nan­cial pres­sure as it ap­proached the al­limpor­tant two month stretch be­fore the first state-wide vote in the nom­i­na­tion race, on Fe­bru­ary 1 in Iowa.

Jin­dal, the 44-year-old son of im­mi­grants from In­dia, is the third Repub­li­can to drop out of the con­test, af­ter for­mer Texas gov­er­nor Rick Perry and Wis­con­sin Gov­er­nor Scott Walker. His de­par­ture leaves 14 Repub­li­cans in the nom­i­na­tion hunt, in­clud­ing bil­lion­aire fron­trun­ner Don­ald Trump, re­tired neu­ro­sur­geon Ben Car­son, Se­na­tor Marco Ru­bio and for­mer Florida gov­er­nor Jeb Bush.

Jin­dal has al­ways pegged him­self as a re­bel­lious out­sider, in­sist­ing that Amer­ica needed to pick a pres­i­dent who was not clois­tered in­side the Wash­ing­ton power bub­ble. He ab­hors big gov­ern­ment, and con­stantly vowed on the cam­paign trail to slash fed­eral pro­grams and spend­ing. At the most re­cent Repub­li­can de­bate, where he was on stage with three fel­low low­polling can­di­dates ahead of the main show­down, he in­sisted: “There’s only one of us who’s ac­tu­ally cut gov­ern­ment spend­ing -not two, there’s one - and you’re look­ing at him.”

An ex­tremely fast-talk­ing pol­icy ex­pert, Jin­dal has an en­cy­clo­pe­dic com­mand of the is­sues, and as a can­di­date he never hes­i­tated to lash out at the poli­cies of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama or Demo­cratic fron­trun­ner Hil­lary Clin­ton. He said he hoped the Repub­li­can nominee would have the “courage and smarts” to make changes to the sta­tus quo in Wash­ing­ton. “The re­al­ity is, we can­not af­ford to go to­wards so­cial­ism,” he told Fox. “We can­not af­ford Hil­lary Clin­ton, four more years of a weak for­eign pol­icy,” he added. “Our coun­try de­serves bet­ter than that.”

Trib­utes poured in from ri­vals in the race, in­clud­ing Se­na­tor Ted Cruz, who said Jin­dal’s “fo­cus on sub­stan­tive pol­icy mat­ters ad­vanced the de­bate that our party must have on the is­sues most im­por­tant to Amer­i­can vot­ers.” — AFP

OR­LANDO, Florida: In this Nov 14, 2015 photo, Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Louisiana Gov Bobby Jin­dal, ad­dresses the Sun­shine Sum­mit. — AP

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