“My name is Bobby Jindal,” he began. “I am governor of the great state of Louisiana, and I am running for president of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America.”
Of course, and to put it generously, Jindal is a second-tier contender whose candidacy is unlikely to make a splash. He’s polling abysmally (although, in fairness, it’s still early) and all the big donors, it seems, are looking at other candidates.
Nevertheless, Jindal still feels he has something to offer the country that most of his rivals do not: experience as reform-minded governor.
“It was the aftermath of Katrina [and] our economy was locked in a downward spiral,” he said, recounting what were then his first few days as governor. “Our biggest city was reeling. For 25 straight years, more people had left the state than had moved into it. Louisiana was in big trouble, so we had to make big changes. We had to believe in Louisiana again — and that is exactly what we did.”
“We reformed our ethics laws,” he continued. “We went from one of the worst states, to one of the best states in the country; we privatized our outdated, government-run hospital system; we reformed education with nearly 100 percent charter schools in New Orleans; and now we have statewide school choice because every child deserves an equal opportunity for a great education.”
Unsurprisingly, however, he also tossed a major salvo at his fellow Republicans, all of whom are polling way better than him.
“None of them, not one, can match our record of actually shrinking the size of government,” he boasted. “If great speeches helped our country, we’d be on easy street right now.”
And yet, that obviously isn't the case. So taking the gloves off a little bit, he explicitly attacked a candidate who gives good speeches — but isn’t necessarily conservative enough to defeat the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“You’ve heard Jeb Bush say we need to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general election,” he said. “Let me translate that political-speak into plain English: What Jeb Bush is saying is that we need to hide our conservative ideals."
"But the truth is, if we go down that road again, we will lose again," he added.
Finally, he discussed, among other things, saving and reforming America’s entitlement programs, implementing term limits, securing the US-Mexican border, and repealing and replacing Obamacare. He also drew contrasts between his results-oriented, conservative approach to governance — and the frustrating fecklessness we're now seeing on Capitol Hill.
“The emperors in Washington, they’re not wearing any clothes,” he averred to gaggles of laughter. “I am running for president without permission from headquarters in Washington, D.C. I am tanned, rested, and ready for this fight.”
Jindal, for his part, is the 13th Republican contender to officially launch a presidential bid.