It's time for a doer not for the losers to run the state, says Bobby Jindal
Washington: Indian-American Bobby Jindal today projected himself as a “doer” among “talkers” and tried to establish himself as a different candidate as he kicked off his long-shot bid for the 2016 US presidential elections, vowing to build up America's military, create free market and repeal President Barack Obama's heathcare plan.
Jindal, the first Indian-American to make a major 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.
The 44-year-old 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,” Jindal 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. He 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.” 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.” 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 as Obama's “apprentice in waiting” the the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, 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 said “I will not be intimidated from talking about the fact that radical Islam is evil and it must be destroyed.”
“Containment is a strategy for losers... President Obama has it wrong. Secretary 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.
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.
Repeating his views, Jindal, an Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants, had yesterday 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 us...by 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.