February 11th, 2009
01:22 PM ET
9 years ago

Jindal tapped to give high-profile GOP response to Obama

Bobby Jindal a former congressman and first term governor, was widely believed to be on then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain's shortlist for vice president.

Bobby Jindal a former congressman and first term governor, was widely believed to be on then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain's shortlist for vice president.

(CNN) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is set to deliver the Republican response to Barack Obama's upcoming joint address to Congress - the high-profile slot the rival party often gives to one of its rising stars.

“Gov. Jindal embodies what I have long said: the Republican Party must not be simply the party of 'opposition,' but the party of better solutions," House Minority Leader John Boehner said in a Wednesday statement.

Jindal a former congressman and first term governor, was widely believed to be on then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain's shortlist for vice president, and often served as a campaign surrogate on the Arizona senator's behalf.

The 37-year-old son of Indian immigrants was also given a prime-time speaking slot at the GOP convention last September, though he ultimately decided not to attend the four-day event as Hurricane Gustav headed for landfall in his state.

An Ivy League grad, Rhodes Scholar, and the first non-white governor of Louisiana, Jindal has long been on the GOP's radar screen as a potential future leader and likely presidential candidate. And as the GOP is launching full-scale efforts to appeal to non-white voters, Jindal has become one of the party's most high-profile minorities.

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Filed under: Bobby Jindal
soundoff (210 Responses)
  1. Matt

    I think the Republican Party is in real trouble. I talked to a lifelong TRUE Conservative Republican the other day and he is disgusted with the direction of the party in the last 10 years. He even went on to say that conservatives should have a strong voice, but not the only strong voice in the party and that the Republicans are hemorrhaging moderates at an alarming rate. They have lost all but 3 members of congress in the Northeastern US and are starting to lose out west as well (Look at Montana, Colorado, N. Mexico, and yes Arizona – McCain will be in trouble in 2010). And look at the Midwest, again dominated by democrats because the Republican Party has lost the Middle. And if they had any brains they would get behind Senators Snowe, Collins, and Spector and work to reclaim the middle. The Democrats figured this out – a great example are senators like Jim Webb and Ben Nelson who, 20 years ago, would have probably run as Republicans but saw the writing on the wall and opted for the Democrats.

    Bobby Jindahl is NOT the future of the Republican Party. He is a Neo-Con who still believes the Myth that Reagan was a fiscal conservative who never raised taxes and shrunk the size of the Government. Ironically, its this mis-representation of Regan that has lead to the Demise of the GOP. Regan was a centrist on both fiscal policy and foreign policy. He did not defeat the Soviets by force, but rather by negotiations and waiting them out. I think if he were still with us today, Reagan would tell today's republican party to GET A CLUE.

    I also think if there are any moderate republicans out there thinking of running for office this is the time to challenge the current incarnation of the GOP incumbents. We need more good moderates like the trio of Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Arlen Spector. Moderates who new how to get things done for the people.

    But as long as people like John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and Richard Shelby are the Republicans leaders then I fear that the GOP will continue to decline which is not good for America. We need true conservatives and liberals as well as a high percentage of Moderates who can help us get things done. We need good republicans and democrats who can move beyond the partisan divide. So I say, rather than try to reform those who are in power in the GOP – I call on all moderate republicans to unite and kick these morons out of office – challenge them in the primaries and bring back the true ways of Reagan and not the False Myth of Reagan the Neo-Cons are trying to push!!!

    Bobby Jindahl

    February 11, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Hey Carlo, get your facts straight.

    Jindal was born and raised a HINDU, but converted to Catholicism in high school. Hinduism is a far cry from Islam.

    February 11, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Jim

    obama-mama You are a fool if you think Steele was tapped simply because he is black. I know it hurts you Dems to think that maybe Republicans are not all racist haters....but we are not. Conservatives are blind to color what binds us is our ideas. Not being able to use the race card will hurt your party as deep down many minorites are conservatives!!!

    February 11, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Mary




    UNDERSTOOD, HIS BRAIN. WETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, WHETHER YOU ADMIT IT OR NOT. YOU KNOW THIS GUYS IS A GENIOUS. He actually have to tone down his intelligence so you can understand him.

    SO DON"T TRY TO FOOL US AMERICANS ANY MORE, by trying to make the men of colors your front runners.


    February 11, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Jeff

    The GOP roll out of fully capable minorities to the U.S. public is encouraging, however, the pandering is ridiculous. Anyone who can see saw predominantly (scared) older white males and females at their conventions...with their "constituents" as they like to say. Although I am encouraged by their mysterious "progression", I remain highly skeptical and distrustful of the GOP. Regardless of who represents them, their mismanagement, corruption, ignoring (deregulation) and/ or illegal activities have overwhelmingly and higher proportionally lead to the HUGE MESS we are in now. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows and has seen them ignore anyone but the rich. THE GOP CAN DENY IT, BUT I AIN'T BUYIN' IT !!!

    February 11, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Tesap:Savannah, GA

    Repubs... such obvious attempts to show that you accept minorities... it would be excellent if it wasn't so blatant!!!!!



    its still the good ol boys party


    February 11, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. indevoterpa

    Good luck...the Repugs thought Steele would be bring the same change.

    February 11, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Kwesoe

    Bobby! Bobby, are you up yet? Oh, there you are. I hear you have a big speech coming up soon. Why don't you get a haircut or something? You know, makes you look smarter than you really are. And remember to say exactly what Mr. Boehner told you to say. Them folks get angry when you don't obey them. Things we do to be Republican....

    February 11, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    The Republicans seem to throw anyone they can into the spotlight to try to convince everyone that they have a clue and are somehow still relevant........kinda sad actually!

    February 11, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. GG NYC

    Jackie – thanks for setting Ray Ray straight. Couldn't have done it better myself.

    February 11, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  11. chuck


    February 11, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  12. person

    Bobby Jindal is an UNCLE TOM. He should have kept his original peaceful religion instead of converting and he should of kept his original name instead of being ashamed of it.

    That is the difference between Obama and Jindal. Obama knows his roots and embraces his white american ancestory and his black african ancestory. By the way Obama is not a black prez he is a biracial prez. Get it straight, the media keeps forcing the world to call him the first black prez when he is not.

    February 11, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. Perspective

    C'mon, Boehner's actions speak louder than empty words, considering he's run the Republican Party 'opposition.'

    As much as I like Gov. Jindal beyond his theocratic positions, I can almost hear the same ole talking points now: tax cuts, spending, conservative, etc. Again, actions spoke louder than words/credibility these past eight years.

    February 11, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. William, independent from Va

    It only people can feel this strong about your country instead of a particular party affiliation. I hope the rebutal is full of substance and can constructively critize some of Barack Obama policies. I did vote for Barack Obama; however, I do not think he walks on water. I also think that most of the republicans currently in washington are trying to hard to make sure he doesn't get much accomplish.

    February 11, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Jim

    ginger February 11th, 2009 2:15 pm ETThis is just so stupid to say, "Obama can't think for himself" So please, explain how he graduated from Columbia and Harvard?
    Gee Bush graduated from Yale and Havard ?

    February 11, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Bruce


    February 11, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. Melissa

    Jindal is a good governor. Doesn't mean I trust a word out of the Republians mouth, though.

    February 11, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. gl, Pittsburgh

    So Jindhal will respond to Obama so what happen to Michael Steele?
    Michale Steele is not match for Obama and neither is Jindhal.

    February 11, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. he is NOT the chosen one after all

    three and a half weeks and the dumbocraps are worried about a rebuttal to the failed policies of presidents Reid/Pelosi. don't worry, your welfare checks are still in the stimulus pork.

    February 11, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. person

    To the nutjob who said Jindal is a MUSLIM, this is incorrect and uneducated. I do not like the policies or the ideologies of Jindal but I will correct the misinformation about Jindal. the name itself is not a muslim name. In fact his ancestory comes from Northern India where his family probably battled the extremist muslims. He is of HIndu descent.

    February 11, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Beth

    You liberals just make my skin crawl. Y'all trash good people just to get what you want. It's no wonder that more intelligent and fair-minded people don't run for office. Who wants their name dragged through the mud by you so-called "open-minded" and "tolerant" liberals? Your attacks don't even have valid arguements. You are just hateful, disgusting people. Sickening.

    February 11, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Please!

    "An appeal to non-white voters" is that a nice way of saying token?

    I got a kick out of Steele the other day with his cool, hip, lingo, talkin' 'bout the "bling,bling". Wow, far out man. That guy is boss! I bet he wears baseball hats backwards and says 'bad' when he means 'good'. I think I'll vote Republican so I can be cool like him.

    Does he have any clue (no, none of the Repubs have a clue) how stupid he sounds? No one is going to fall for this.

    February 11, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Clarke

    I'm a Democrat– from th efew interviews I've heard with Jindle, he's smart , articulate, not a screamer or finger pointer...can the GOP tolerate him???

    February 11, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Sam

    Is Bobby Jindal to Defend the Bush Administration.

    Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Administration will go down in history as the Worst Atrocious and Most Heinous. Bush Administration is responsible for the Death of 4000 US Troops, 100,000 Iraqi Civilians and more than 10,000 US Troops Permanently Disabled.

    Iraq war is based upon False and Fabricated Intelligence. Bush admits this. Iraq and Iraqis were not involved in 9/11 attacks. Bush’s motive to Invade Iraq was to bring down Saddam Hussain, because Saddam was a Hindrance in Bush’s Nefarious Ambitions for Gulf and Iraq oil.

    Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld be Tried and Put in Jail.

    February 11, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. The watcher

    Another Muslim hiding behind the evangelical rhetoric. Christianity for dummies or for that matter, political expediency. What has America really come to.....this. Lord help us.

    February 11, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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