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Bobby Jindal backs down from US presidential race

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Washington: In a move that left American poll pundits surprised, Louisiana’s Indian-American Republican Governor Bobby has backed out from the 2016 US presidential race saying “this is not my time“.

Announcing his decision in Fox News on Tuesday evening, Louisiana-born son of Indian immigrant parents from Punjab, Jindal, said, “they raised me to believe Americans can do anything, and they were right, we can.

“I don’t think in a million years they would have ever imagined that I’d be governor or one day I’d be running for president of the United States,” he said.

“But I’ve come to the realization this is not my time. So I am suspending my campaign for president,” Jindal said. “Going forward, I believe we have to be the party of growth and we can never stop being the party that believes in opportunity.”

“We cannot settle for the left’s view of envy and division. We have to be the party that says everyone in this country – no matter the circumstances of their birth or who their parents are – can succeed in America.”

Asked why his candidacy didn’t take off, Jindal said, “we spent a lot of time developing detailed policy papers, and given this crazy, unpredictable election season, clearly there just wasn’t a lot of interest in those policy papers.”

He faced a variety of obstacles. Jindal was long hamstrung by weak national poll numbers, anemic fundraising as well as low approval ratings in his home state –where only a third of voters approved of his leadership. His poor performance in national polls meant that he was kept off the main stage in presidential debates and instead relegated to the undercard debate.

He is the third Republican to suspend his campaign after former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker dropped out earlier this year.

Once seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, Jindal’s campaign failed to gain much momentum as he kept polling less than one percent in various national surveys.

A Brown University graduate and Rhodes Scholar, he rose to prominence at the start of President Barack Obama’s first term when he was asked to deliver the Republican Party’s rebuttal to the State of the Union address in 2009. But his performance was widely panned.

In announcing his departure from the race, Jindal also said he would go back
to work at his think tank, America Next.

Jindal told Fox he is not endorsing another candidate right now, but will support the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

“At the end of the day I trust the American people to select our nominee for the next president,” he said adding, “I want someone who’s got the smarts to make big changes.”

Reportedly,  Jindal believes that government experience is needed in a presidential candidate, so he is more likely to back senators Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio than Trump or Carson, the two leading candidates in the race.

(With inputs from agencies)

(Picture Courtesy: www.nola.com)

 

 

 

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Hillary Clinton gets endorsement from The New York Times

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Hillary Clinton

New York: The New York Times on Saturday endorsed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

“The Times editorial board endorses Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination,” the paper said in a tweet.

Noting Clinton would be the first woman nominated by a major party, an opinion piece, by the Editorial Board, said: “.. she served as a senator from a major state (New York) and as secretary of state — not to mention her experience on the national stage as first lady with her brilliant and flawed husband, President Bill Clinton.
“The Times editorial board has endorsed her three times for federal office — twice for Senate and once in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary — and is doing so again with confidence and enthusiasm.” (IANS)

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Speculations about Nikki Haley as Republican Vice President candidate

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Washington: Republicans picking South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Haley to give the party’s response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, fuelled speculations that she might be party’s pick for the Vice President candidature.

Born Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa, to Sikh immigrant parents from India, Haley at 43 the youngest governor in the country will give the Republican response to Obama’s final annual address to the Congress Tuesday night.

A day later she will speak to Republican leaders gathered for the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in Charleston at a private event aboard the USS Yorktown in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina, influential Politico reported citing sources.

The following day, just before Republican presidential hopefuls gather for the debate, Haley is expected to have a private meeting with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, according to a source familiar with her plans.

“All this comes on the back of a strong year that saw her prospects in the veepstakes improve as Haley signed off on legislation removing the Confederate flag from Columbia and oversaw a state battered by a tragic massacre and a massive flood,” the Politico said.

In August, at the RNC summer meeting in Cleveland, Haley was invited to be its luncheon headliner, the Politico noted.

In recent months, Haley has fostered a close relationship with Christie as well as with two other Republican White House hopefuls: Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, it said.

Over the course of the primary campaign, she has been exchanging text messages with all three candidates.

Haley said Thursday she plans to address the challenges in South Carolina and the nation that she thinks are the most important in her Republican response to Obama’s address.

Haley declined to reveal details of what she plans to say, except to repeat that she is giving an “address” to the nation rather a “response” to Obama. “I certainly am not one to compete against the President or try to imply that I could be,” Haley told reporters, according to Charlotte Observer.

Haley’s selection, the Observer said, is seen as part of the Republican Party’s attempts to win over female voters, who will have a chance to elect the first female president if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee. But she called such talk a “waste of time”.

When asked about being given such an honour, she smiled and said she was humbled by it. “You have to know I always go back to that 5-year-old Indian girl that lived in Bamberg. That just wondered what was out there,” Haley said.

Haley was first elected South Carolina governor in 2010, becoming both the first woman and the first Indian-American to hold the top office in the state. She was re-elected in 2014(Arun Kumar, IANS)(Image: Youtube)

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Decrying socialism Bobby Jindal wants poor also to pay taxes

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Washington: Deriding Democrats as socialists and fellow Republicans in Washington as weak and too quick to surrender, Indian-American presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal has proposed making everyone – including the poor – pay federal income taxes.

This was the best way to rein in government spending, he said participating in Wednesday night’s undercard CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at Colorado University’s Coors Events Center, in Boulder, Colorado.

“I want every American to worry and care about how those folks in DC are spending our money,” Jindal said. “Socialism is bad. Not only for taxpayers, but for the people they’re trying to help. There’s dignity in work. There’s dignity in self-sufficiency.”

“We are going the way of Europe,” he said at one point. “The left is trying to change the American dream into the European nightmare.”

Jindal joined three other low polling candidates — South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former New York Governor George Pataki — in the hour-long debate ahead of the main debate among top ten Republican candidates.

Taking up the role of the angry conservative, Jindal lobbed insults both at Democrats and at fellow Republicans in Washington, whom he accused of surrendering to Democrats. Jindal also criticized the budget agreement that the House approved Wednesday as a “very bad deal” and blamed the Republicans of Congress for refusing to fight.

“Here’s the problem: the Republicans never want to fight,” Jindal said, picking up on a pet campaign theme.

He praised Democrats for fighting effectively for “socialism.” “Why won’t the Republicans fight half as hard for freedom and opportunity? This is a very bad budget.”

The four undercard Republicans, who have all struggled to gain any momentum in the polls, also took aim at the Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, but they all – including Jindal who has made a habit of attacking Donald Trump – refrained from criticising the party frontrunner .

Jindal ended the debate with an appeal for Americans to think of their country in Christian terms: with faith that a frightening situation could be saved.

“The idea of America is slipping away. As Christians, we believe that the tomb is empty. As Americans we believe that our best days are ahead of us,” Jindal said.

It was a reference to the tomb of Jesus Christ, which Christians believe was found empty because Christ had been resurrected after death.

“We can save the idea of America,” Jindal said. “Before it’s too late.”

(Arun Kumar,IANS)