Call it the VP vetting tour. Some of the names at the top of most vice-president speculation lists hit the stump in Iowa this week, campaigning on behalf of Mitt Romney. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell visited the state Wednesday. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is expected to campaign in the Des Moines area on Saturday.
Jindal delivered a well-received thirteen minute speech to a crowd of Romney supporters at the Kum & Go headquarters in West Des Moines. Early in his talk, Jindal called President Obama “a good man”, but ripped his policies just seconds later.
“I think he’s trying his best as president. I just don’t think his best is good enough for these United States of America,” Jindal said to applause from the 160 attendees. “I’ve really got only two concerns with this president. One is the fact is that he is the most liberal president since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. My second concern with him is that he’s the most incompetent president since Jimmy Carter was in the White House.”
Jindal reminded the crowd that Obama promised to cut the U.S. debt in half by the end of his first term. Instead, Obama increased the debt by more than a trillion dollars during each year of his presidency.
“You know things are bad when the Europeans are telling us, ‘You’re spending and borrowing too much.’ You know things are bad when we’ve gotten that low,” Jindal told the crowd. “It’s kind of like when the town drunk tells you you’ve got a drinking problem.”
Jindal visited Iowa in 2010 while campaigning on behalf of Terry Branstad. He made a point to praise Branstad during his speech in West Des Moines. Jindal also visited the state in the lead up to the Iowa Caucus to express his support for Rick Perry. He sensed a lot of enthusiasm on Wednesday during his stops in Coralville, Newton and West Des Moines.
“People have been extremely friendly, extremely enthusiastic,” Jindal told TheIowaRepublican. “I’ve been back to a lot of communities I visited before. Great to see some familiar faces. People here in Iowa, they’re a confident, optimistic resilient people. They’re fighting through the drought, fighting through the national recession, but they’re also optimistic that the State of Iowa can do better.”
In terms of selecting a running mate for GOP nominee-to-be Mitt Romney, Jindal would make a solid choice. Despite his relative youth, the 41-year old Louisiana governor boasts an impressive resume. Jindal served one term in Congress prior to becoming governor in 2008. He was only the second Indian-American to accomplish that feat. Prior to his stint in Congress, Jindal served as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the president of the University of Louisiana system and Louisiana secretary of Health and Hospitals.
Bobby Jindal’s views are acceptable across the Republican spectrum. He possesses a strong, conservative record on fiscal and social issues. The Louisiana governor opposes abortion in all instances, opposes same-sex marriage and is a strong 2nd Amendment advocate.
He has cut taxes in Louisiana six times, including the largest tax cut in the state’s history. However, when asked about the possibility of becoming the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Jindal sidesteps the issue.
“I’m referring all those questions to the Romney campaign,” Jindal said. “This election is not about Joe Biden. This election is about the two men at the top of the ticket. A lot of elections are incremental choices. This election, you couldn’t have two more different people in terms of executive branch experience, in terms of political philosophies.”
Governor Jindal played up Iowa’s important role in not only deciding the Republican nominee, but also in choosing the next president. Iowa is one of a handful of swing states that could determine the outcome in November.
“This is a very important election,” Jindal said. “And it’s going to be a close election and the closer is gets, the more negative this president and his team is going to be. They’re going to try to distract us. They’re going to try to talk about everything but what’s most important in this election. He can’t run on his record, he can’t run on his promises, he can’t run on his platform, so he’s got to tear down Governor Romney.”
Mitt Romney is in the midst of an overseas tour to Britian, Poland and Israel. The former Massachusetts governor will not announce his running mate until at least after he returns from his six day trip.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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