Jindal Launches US Presidential Bid, Says it's Time for a Doer

Published: 25th June 2015 12:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2015 01:40 PM   |  A+A-


WASHINGTON: Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal today projected himself as a "doer" among "talkers" as he entered the crowded 2016 presidential race, vowing to repeal President Barack Obama's signature healthcare plan and destroying the "evil" of radical Islam.

44-year-old Jindal, the first Indian-American to make a presidential bid, is the 13th Republican aspirant to target the White House in this election cycle.

"My name is Bobby Jindal. I am Governor of the great state of Louisiana, and I'm running to be President of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America!" he said at a campaign launch event held in New Orleans.

Jindal, whose term as Governor ends in January, claimed he was a different kind of candidate and sought to dismiss opposition to his candidacy, saying he was running "without permission from headquarters".

"My approach is different from most of the other people running to be president. The United States of America was made great by people who get things done, not lots of talk or entertaining speeches," the Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants said.

"There are a lot of great talkers running for president already. But none of them, not one, can match our record of actually shrinking the size of government. If great speeches helped our country, we'd be on easy street right now.

"The guy in the White House today, he's a great talker.

We've had enough of talkers. It is time for a doer," he said in his address filled with goals and specific promises.

Jindal said he was running for president "to be somebody and do something. I will do the things that you cannot do in Washington. I will say the things you cannot say."

Spelling out his agenda, Jindal said, "I will grow the private sector economy by shrinking the size, scope, and reach of the federal government. And I will rebuild America's defenses and restore our standing on the world stage."

"As America goes, so goes the world. We are the light of freedom in a dark world, and it's time we started acting like it. I will not be intimidated from talking about the fact that radical Islam is evil and it must be destroyed," he said.

"Containment is a strategy for losers. But as General George S Patton famously observed, Americans play to win all the time. Americans don't play to lose. President Obama has it wrong. Secretary (Hillary) Clinton has it wrong. Our allies need to trust us, our enemies need to fear us. It is time we play to win again," he said amidst applause.

The two-term Louisiana Governor highlighted his tenure in office, during which he downsized state government and fought for tax cuts and advocated the repeal of Obamacare.

"They say we can't really repeal or replace all of Obamacare, but I'm the only candidate who has written a replacement plan, a free market plan, that focuses on reducing cost. We can repeal Obamacare and we will repeal Obamacare," Jindal said.

Taking swipes at leaders of his own party, he said, "I am running for president without permission from headquarters in Washington DC."

He also took jabs at Republican frontrunner Jeb Bush, for the his remark that he would be willing to lose some Republican primaries to help win the nomination.

"You've heard Jeb Bush say that we need to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general election. We're going to help him do that," he said amid laughter from the audience.

If Republicans hid their conservative ideals, "we will

lose again", he warned.

Jindal pitched himself as a leader who is "not going to take the easy way out".

"I am tanned, rested and ready for this fight," he said, asserting that he is the people's choice "if you are chasing a dream, looking for a land where the people are free and the opportunities are real."

Jindal described Democratic frontrunner Clinton as Obama's "apprentice in waiting" and accused them of "leading America down the path to destruction, economically, culturally, and internationally".

He said, "Clinton is always trying to divide us by ethnicity, by gender, by economic status. I don't know about you but for me I'm sick and tired of people dividing Americans."

The top priorities of office he listed would be securing the border, replacing Obamacare with a new healthcare system, growing the private sector and building up America's military.

"As president, I will have four objectives. I will secure our borders. I will replace Obamacare with a health care system that focuses on reducing cost and restoring freedom. 

"I will grow the private sector economy by shrinking the size, scope, and reach of the federal government. And I will rebuild America's defenses and restore our standing on the world stage," he said.

Jindal's announcement, however, has injected not much enthusiasm in the Indian-American community because of his recent statements in which he sought to distance himself from being an Indian-American.

Jindal had this week featured on the Federalist Radio Hour and gave his perspective on the state of the union.

He expressed frustration that President Barack Obama has "been trying to divide gender, by race, by geography, and by religion."

"We're not hyphenated Americans anymore. We're not African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Indian-Americans or rich and poor Americans," he asserted.


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