Washington, Sep 17 (IANS) In a bid to stay relevant, long shot Indian-American Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal attacked President Barack Obama and frontrunner Donald Trump alike and gave a call to get rid of his own Republican party.
“”It is time to get rid of the Republican party,” he said participating in the “happy hour” debate Wednesday of four low polling Republican presidential hopefuls ahead of the main debate of the top 11 at Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
Accusing the Congressional Republicans of failing to stop the nuclear deal with Iran and throwing in the towel on defunding Planned Parenthood a non profit providing reproductive health services, the Louisiana governor said “The only group he’s (Obama) able to out negotiate are the Senate Republicans.”
But the Louisiana governor, who has been attacking Trump for days to get media attention, opened the debate by defending his attacks on the party front-runner.
Standing on the stage with the Air Force one plane used by President Ronald Reagan as the backdrop, Jindal said he hasn’t violated Reagan’s unwritten commandment not to attack fellow Republicans because the real estate mogul doesn’t back Republican values.
“I’m in compliance with the 11th commandment and I would tell my fellow Republicans let’s stop treating Donald Trump like a Republican,” he said.
With him on stage were former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, former New York governor George Pataki and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham make their case to Republican voters, who have all been polling no more than one or two percent.
Painting himself as “a doer, not a talker” Jindal said he has “the backbone” and “the bandwith” to be president.
Attacked by his rivals for his earlier stand favouring a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, Jindal denied he favoured “amnesty” for them.
He then launched on his familiar refrain of “immigration without assimilation is invasion” and that all immigrants should look at themselves as Americans and not Indian-Americans or Asian Americans.
Vowing to be tougher on Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said “Dictators walk all over this president.” He also called Obama a “socialist.”
Jindal also proposed a “litmus test” for justices – they have to be conservative.
He criticized Graham and Santorum for their votes to confirm Chief Justice John Roberts, who split with the conservatives in health care cases.
On the issue of Syrian refugees, Jindal said the US should not take in more Syrian refugees, calling it only a band aid on a big problem.
According to Google search results, Jindal and Graham easily dominated Google searches over the course of the second tier debate. To what extent it would help their poll numbers is yet to be seen.
A standout performance during the first presidential debate last month gave a significant boost to former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and helped her move to the main debate.