Washington, July 1 (IANS) Stung by media criticism that he is distancing himself from his Indian heritage, Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign is hitting hard on his ‘hyphenated Americans’ theme with T-shirts touting him as “tanned, rested, ready”.
The $20 official T-shirt which is supposed to be a nod to Jindal’s Indian heritage and his dislike of “hyphenated American” modifiers as well as a play on a famous Richard Nixon line, is apparently his way of getting back at the “liberal media.”
Way back in 1988, a T-shirt sold at the Young Republican convention in Seattle depicted “a smiling Richard M. Nixon” with the slogan “He’s tan, rested and ready,” according to the New York Times.
“The liberal media said, ‘There’s not much Indian left in Bobby Jindal,’ so we made shirts to mock them,” Jindal, the first Indian-American governor and the 13th Republican candidate in the 2016 White House race, tweeted Tuesday.
The line is an apparent reference to a quote from Pearson Cross, a political science professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who is writing a book on him, in a Washington Post profile of Jindal.
“The liberal narrative that developed this week was disgusting:
apparently Bobby isn’t brown enough for them,” said Jindal campaign manager Timmy Teepell as cited by The Advocate newspaper.
Jindal’s presidential super PAC – a supposedly independent political action committee that may raise unlimited sums of money and engage in unlimited political spending independently of a campaign-also criticised “hyphenated Americans.”
The first television advertisement released by “Believe Again” PAC in Iowa, the state from where presidential campaigns of both parties traditionally begin, uses clips of Jindal’s campaign launch suggesting that the use of “hyphenated Americans” is divisive.
“I’m done with all this talk about hyphenated Americans. We are not Indian-Americans, Irish-Americans, African-Americans, rich Americans, or poor Americans – we are all Americans,” Jindal says in the “We are All Americans” ad.
Jindal is returning to Iowa this week to hold various events through Saturday, including participating in at least two July 4 parades and tours of local factories.
Meanwhile, Twitter went wild Tuesday asking Bobby Jindal questions with the #AskBobby hashtag after his political action committee encouraged people to ask the presidential candidate questions.
The hashtag, which is used to track trending topics, quickly became among the top 10-most used topics on the service by Tuesday afternoon, according to NOLA.com.
But going by a sampling, apparently this was not what the Jindal campaign was hoping for.
Ben Moser @benjaminmoser Can you tell me the difference between Obama’s “illegal executive orders” and your “totes legit executive orders?”
LoveWins @word_34 – #AskBobby Would you consider this the first sign of the apocalypse or the second sign?
NonProphetess @nonprophetess – Is the cognitive dissonance of having a biology degree and being viciously anti-science overwhelming?
Brent Rogers @BrntRgrs – Who is your favorite Supreme Court justice? I’m guessing Scalia. Did I get it right? #AskBobby.
Scalia was one of the judges who gave a dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriages across the US.