WASHINGTON: Notwithstanding his 13th rank among 17 presidential hopefuls, Indian-American Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has said he is the best Republican contender for the White House and is headed towards becoming party’s nominee.
“I think after we get past this summer of silliness and insults, the voters are going to begin to look at who is prepared to do the job. Who has the intelligence, who has the courage, who has the experience? I believe I’m the candidate best able to do this job on the first day,” Mr Jindal, 44, told ABC in an interview aired today.
“Look I think I’m going to be the nominee. I think Donald Trump (the leading Republican aspirant) has done a great job tapping into the anger, the frustration that voters feel, not only with (US) President (Barack) Obama but with the Republican leadership as well,” he said.
Dismissing that his campaign does not seem to be catching fire at all, he said, “I disagree with that. We’re seeing great momentum in Iowa. We’re seeing standing only crowds. What I see is that voters haven’t committed to any candidate yet. In Iowa, in these early states, they’re kicking the tires, they’re asking the tough questions. This is a wide open race. They certainly seem to be attracted to Donald Trump.”
A two-term Governor of Louisiana, Mr Jindal is currently ranked 13th among a crowded list of 17 Republican hopefuls.
During the interview, he reiterated his allegations against Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton for using her private server and private email account when she was the US’ Secretary of State.
“If any private in the military, other government official had handled classified information the way she is said to have handled, there would have been a court martial, there would have been even criminal prosecution. There would have certainly been consequences. She shouldn’t be above the law. There shouldn’t be a different set of rules for our elected leaders than for the rest of us,” Mr Jindal said.
It is time Americans de-hyphenated themselves from the country of origin and considered themselves as just Americans, Mr Jindal, born to parents who emigrated from India, said.
“We need to move away from hyphenated Americans. We’re not African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Indian-Americans, rich or poor Americans. We’re all Americans.
“The reason this is so important, immigration without integration is not immigration, it’s invasion. My parents are proud of their Indian heritage, but they came here to be Americans and they love this country. They wanted to raise their children as Americans,” Mr Jindal said.
“We don’t make people come here. If they want to come here, they should want to be Americans. Millions of people across this world want to come here. A smart immigration policy allows people to come here legally that makes our country stronger. That’s just common sense,” he added.