(CNN) - John McCain dropped one name that’s figured prominently in recent veepstakes talk in a Friday speech - praising a Louisiana education initiative supported by that state’s governor, Bobby Jindal.
CNN's Political Market: Jindal's stock goes up
“Just ask the families in New Orleans who will soon have the chance to remove their sons and daughters from failing schools, and enroll them instead in a school-choice scholarship program,” he told the Urban League in Orlando Friday. “That program in Louisiana was proposed by Democratic state legislators and signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal. Just three years after Katrina, they are bringing real hope to poor neighborhoods, and showing how much can be achieved when both parties work together for real reform.”
Earlier: VP buzz rises around Jindal
Last week, Jindal – who is widely believed to be on McCain’s VP shortlist - seemed to take himself out of the running, telling an interviewer he would not be joining the GOP ticket this cycle.
"I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee or vice president. I'm going to help Senator McCain get elected, as governor of Louisiana," he told a FOX interviewer.
"Let me be clear: I have said in every private and public conversation, I've got the job that I want."
GOP sources gave told CNN the 37-year-old Jindal is being considered for the keynote address slot at next month’s Republican National Convention.
In his July appearance before the NAACP, John McCain was full of praise for opponent Barack Obama.
With a new month comes a new message: the presumptive Republican nominee’s speech Friday at the Urban League’s annual gathering in Orlando was a polar opposite of that address. McCain mentioned several black leaders – including former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. and activist Al Sharpton – by name as he lauded bi-partisan efforts to overhaul the nation’s school systems. But the presumptive Democratic nominee, who is slated to address the group tomorrow, rated several swipes.
"You'll hear from my opponent, Senator Obama tomorrow, and if there's one thing he always delivers it's a great speech,” said McCain as he began his address, which criticized Obama on issues ranging from tax policy to education reform. “But I hope you'll listen carefully, because his ideas are not always as impressive as his rhetoric."
Later, talking about his support for school vouchers, he added: "If Senator Obama continues to defer to the teachers unions, instead of committing to real reform, then he should start looking for new slogans."