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Jindal slams Obama’s oil spill response

world Updated: Nov 14, 2010 00:05 IST
Yashwant Raj

The Republicans are not done with President Barack Obama.

The Republican governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, has in a new book accused the president of caring more about his personal image than the well being of the people. The White House has lost touch with reality, he added.

The criticism is a standard one of Obama, turned into a major campaign plank by Republicans during the recent elections, wresting control of the House of Representative with an overwhelming majority.

Jindal, the first Indian American to head a state as governor, cites an incident to make a point, going back to the BP oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.

On his first visit to the state, the governor writes, President Obama pulled him aside on the tarmac and expressed displeasure over a letter sent by Jindal earlier requesting permission to issue food stamps to those rendered jobless by the spill.

“Careful,” he quotes the president as warning him, “this is going to get bad for everyone.”

Obama’s then chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel was tearing into Jindal’s chief staff just a few feet away. Emmanuel apparently said, “If you have a problem pick up the f---n phone.”

Jindal believes the White House was upset as he had released the letter to the media earlier, seeking an early closure on the issue.

The governor goes on to cite another example. When Jindal expressed concerns over the economic impact of the moratorium ordered by the president on deep sea drilling following the spill, Obama is said to have said that national polls showed people supported the ban.

“The human element seemed invisible to the White House,” he writes. The book titled — Leadership and Crisis — is being taken as an attempt by Jindal to build himself a national profile. And a possible shot at the presidency.

Speculation about his White House aspirations persists despite many denials and clarifications from him.

“I have the best I will ever have,” he has said. But not many think he seriously believes that.