Jindal joins Republican field
Louisiana governor speaks of taking on ‘ big government.’
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday that he would seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, joining a crowded field as a long- shot candidate with dismal polling numbers relative to his fellow candidates and with his constituents at home.
Jindal, a second- term governor, highlighted his tenure in office, during which he has downsized state government and fought for tax cuts, actions that are widely popular among the Republican base.
“We did what they said could not be done. We shrank government.… The big- government crowd fought us every step of the way,” he said, noting he’d cut the number of state government workers by 34% and limited the number of “bureaucrats.”
Jindal said that there were “a lot of great talkers running for president” but that none of them could talk about limiting government the way he had in Louisiana.
“We’ve had enough talkers. It’s time for a doer,” he said in a speech outside New Orleans. “I’m not running for president to be somebody; I’m running for president to do something.”
An Indian American and the f irst sitting governor to enter the presidential contest, Jindal has also served one term in the U. S. House. He was trumpeted after the 2012 election as a formidable contender for 2016.
But several national surveys of the GOP field, which includes more than a dozen candidates, show him with about 1% support. In Louisiana, his approval ratings this spring hovered near 30%, stemming largely from his handling of the state’s recent $ 1.6- billion budget shortfall.
His low polling numbers and weak name identification nationally could keep his campaign from gaining momentum. He might be left out of the f irst Republican debates of the campaign in August and September, as new rules allow only the 10 candidates with the highest polling numbers to participate.
“I ’ M NOT running for president to be somebody; I’m running for president to do something,” Jindal said.