Bobby Jindal (Gage Skidmore | Wikimedia Commons)
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the first Indian American ever to bid for U.S. presidency, has bowed out of the White House race as he admitted that “this is not my time” after a lack-luster campaign left him near the bottom of the table of the crowded 2016 Republican aspirants, writes Lalit K. Jha. #BobbyJindal, @Siliconeer
“We spent a lot of time developing detailed policy papers, and given this crazy, unpredictable election season, clearly there just wasn’t a lot of interest,” 44-year-old Jindal said on Fox News after announcing his exit from the heated race dominated by real estate tycoon Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
“This is not my time, so I am suspending my campaign for President,” he said in a statement yesterday that surprised the American political pundits.
“I cannot tell you what an honor it has been to run for President of the United States of America. My parents came to this country 45 years ago searching for freedom and a chance,” Jindal said.
Jindal was once seen as a rising star in the Republican Party and a strong contender for the White House.
He rose to prominence at the start of President Barack Obama’s first term and was given a major spot delivering the Republican Party’s rebuttal to the State of the Union address in 2009, but delivered a widely-panned performance.
Jindal had failed to qualify for the primetime Republican debate on November 10.
Going forward, the two-time Louisiana Governor said he believes that the Republicans have to be the party of growth and it can never stop being the party that believes in opportunity.
“We cannot settle for the Left’s view of envy and division. We have to be the party that says everyone in this country — no matter the circumstances of their birth or who their parents are – can succeed in America,” he said.
“One of the things I will do is go back to work at the think tank I started a few years ago—where I will be outlining a blueprint for making this the American century.
“We must show the way forward on growing our economy and winning the war against terror, and especially defeating radical Islam,” Jindal said.
Jindal often polled under 1% and his campaign reportedly suffered financial pressure.
His campaign also failed to generate much enthusiasm among the Indian Americans because of his statements in which he sought to distance himself from being an Indian American.
Jindal has now become the third Republican to opt out of the 2016 presidential race, the other two being former Texas governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
“I realize that our country is off on the wrong track right now. Everyone knows that, but don’t forget, this is still the greatest country in the history of the world – and every single one of us should start every day by thanking God that we are fortunate enough to be U.S. citizens,” Jindal said.
“Now is the time for all those Americans who still believe in freedom and American exceptionalism to stand up and defend it. The idea of America – the idea that my parents came here for almost a half a century ago — that idea is slipping away from us. Freedom is under assault from both outside our borders and from within. We must act now, we do not have a moment to spare,” he said.
Jindal’s exit leaves 14 Republicans in the nomination hunt, including Trump, Carson, Senator Marco Rubio and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.