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2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign: Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal is the 55th Governor of and former Congressman from Louisiana, who sought the Republican nomination for the presidency during the 2016 election. Jindal was the second Indian-American who has ever been elected to Congress, and is the first Indian-American Governor to be elected in the United States.

Born on June 10, 1971 to immigrants from India, Bobby Jindal grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He attended Baton Rouge Magnet high school, and graduated early with honors from Brown University in 1991 with a double major in biology and public policy. At Brown, Jindal led the College Republicans student group and forged an interest in politics. Although he had a gaurenteed place at Brown Medical School and had been accepted by the Harvard Medical School and the Yale Law School, following his undergraduate career he chose to study as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He graduated from Oxford in 1994 with a Masters of Letters Degree in Political Science, focusing on health policy.

Consulting and management firm McKinsey & Company hired Jindal for a short time after his graduation from Oxford, and he then interned at the office of Louisiana Representative Jim McCreery as a health policy analyst. At age 24 Jindal was appointed as the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals through a connection that he made while interning. During his tenure Louisiana saw a significant positive increase in health-related indicators such as child vaccinations and health care screenings, as well as expanded services for the disabled and elderly. Jindal's policies also brought the state's Medicaid program from a $400 million deficit to a $220 million surplus. After a successful tenure as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, at age 28 Jindal was appointed as the youngest ever president of the University of Louisiana system.

Jindal served as the president of the University of Louisiana higher education system for two years, before he was nominated by President George Bush jr in 2001 to be the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation. In this capacity, he served as the principal policy advisor for the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He resigned from this post in February 2003, and left Washington to launch a Gubernational campaign in Louisiana. Despite endorsements from the Mayor of New Orleans, the outgoing Governor, and Louisiana's largest newspaper, Jindal lost the election. Almost immediately following the loss, Jindal announced his intention to run for Congress representing Louisiana's 1st congressional district. Jindal's campaign raised money quickly, and he won the election with 78% of the vote. In 2006 Jindal was re-elected with 88% of the vote. He served as president of his freshmen Congressional class in 2004, and during his time in Congress Jindal served on the Committee on Homeland Security, the Committee on Resources, and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Jindal ran a successful Gubernational campaign in 2007, defeating eleven opponents and being elected as Governor of Louisiana with 54% of the vote. Bobby Jindal was elected Governor at age 38, making him the youngest sitting Governor in the country. The official Republican response to President Obama's 2009 State of the Union address was given by Jindal. He was re-elected in 2011, winning 66% of the vote. During the 2012 election Jindal travelled the country in support of Mitt Romney for President, and he served as the president of the Republican Governors Association in 2013.

As a Congressman Jindal voted in favor of a Federal Marriage Amendment to restrict marriage to only a union between one man and one woman, voted against the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, and voted to extend the Patriot Act. Jindal earned an “A” rating from the Gun Owners of America and endorsements from the NRA during his tenure in Congress as well. In 2008 Jindal expressed his support for the Common Core Standards Initiative to be adopted in schools, and many of his budgets as Governor included cuts to higher education funding. During his time as Govenor, Jindal signed legislation into law that allows teachers at Louisiana public schools to suppliment their biology and evolution units with intelligent design and creationist ideas. After the passage of the Affordable Care Act Jindal's administration refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid, costing Louisiana taxpayers $1.65 billion. Jindal has visited Israel many times on trips organized by organizations such as the Family Research Council, who'se director believes that Jews should be forced to convert to Christianity.

Immediately following the 2012 election, Time Magazine listed Bobby Jindal as a potential Republican front-runner for the 2016 election. Governor Jindal formed an exploratory committee on May 18, 2015, and announced his official candidacy for the Republican nomination on June 24, 2015.

U.S. - Israel Relationship

  • “We express our strong and unwavering support for the State of Israel and its right to defend itself against Hamas’ senseless attacks... Israel absolutely has a natural right to defend its people and borders and we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Israel during this difficult time.”
    (Republican Governors Association)
  • “The people of Israel must know that America stands with them, that their struggles are our struggles, and that we completely support their right to defend themselves.”
    (Haaretz, August 9, 2014)


  • Jindal was a signatory to the Open Letter written to Iran's leadership prior to the final nuclear agreement.
  • “It is a bad deal for the United States, for Israel and our allies... I worry, under this president’s deal, we could end up with a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”
    (PBS, July 14, 2015)
  • “Congress should oppose this dangerous deal. Secretary Clinton should be a voice of reason and oppose this deal. While Secretary Clinton has been the architect of President Obama’s foreign policy, she can do the right thing and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and oppose this deal.”
    (Bobby Jindal's Campaign Website)
  • “This deal with Iran is a bad one. Iran must recognize Israel’s right to exist and release American prisoners.”
    (Bobby Jindal's Facebook Page)
  • “Reports that a nuclear agreement with Iran have stalled are a positive sign that common sense and security are prevailing. An agreement that reportedly allows Iran to continue manufacturing centrifuges and enriching uranium, and asks for relatively nothing in return, is a bad deal for America and Israel. As Prime Minister Netanyahu put it best, ‘Iran practically gives nothing and it gets a hell of a lot.’ Any deal that puts the interests of Iran ahead of the security of America, Israel and our other allies should be rejected.”
    (Republican Governors Association)

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  • “Let’s be clear about this: Hamas and other terrorists are the perpetrators. There should be no ambiguity here. The people of Israel must know that America stands with them, that their struggles are our struggles, and that we completely support their right to defend themselves.”
    (Haaretz, August 9, 2014)
  • “We express our strong and unwavering support for the State of Israel and its right to defend itself against Hamas’ senseless attacks. Israel is justified in not letting these attacks on their own soil go unnoticed. Over the last 12 years, more than 12,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. In just the last several days alone, more than 1,100 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza.”
    (Republican Governors Association)
  • “The terrorist attacks on Israel are senseless and must be stopped. We must stand with our allies and friends in Israel in support of democracy and freedom. Israel has the right to defend itself against these unconscionable attacks from cowardly terrorists.”
    (Bobby Jindal's Facebook Page)