(photo by Gage Skidmore)
Francine Kiefer --- Christian Science Monitor
WASHINGTON — Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal says he’s thinking and praying about running for president in 2016, and will make his decision after the November elections. His name barely registered a blip in a new CNN/ORC poll of GOP presidential possibles in New Hampshire, but that won’t be a factor in his decision, he says.
“If I were to decide to run for 2016, it would have nothing to do with polls or fundraising,” he told reporters at a Monitor breakfast Tuesday. Rather, his decision making process would be much like the ones he used in deciding to run in other races – for Louisiana governor in 2003 (he lost), for the US House in 2004 (he won), and again for the governorship in 2007 (he won and was overwhelmingly reelected in 2011).
The determining questions, he said, are, “Do I think I can make a difference, do I think I have something unique to offer?”
The youngest governor at the time in the United States when he was elected, the Indian-American is big on policy papers. At his last breakfast with the Monitor, in April, the former Rhodes scholar with a background in health care laid out his plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
This time, he came equipped with a glossy 47-page brochure on energy policy that promotes America as the world’s greatest energy producer. Gushing information like an oil rig, he said the US has more oil, natural gas, and coal than any other nation – and pointed to its technology and clean energy potential.
But he blasted the Obama administration for what he sees as getting in the way of US energy production. He called the administration “science deniers” – a twist on the usual phrase that the White House uses for those who don’t recognize man-made climate change.