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What lies ahead for Republicans

Bobby Jindal, the Indian American governor of Louisiana who is seen as a potential Republican candidate for president in 2012, believes the ‘Grand Old Party’ needs to do three things, writes V Krishna.

world Updated: Nov 18, 2008 01:48 IST
V Krishna

After the resounding victory of Barack Obama and the Democrats, how does the Republican Party get back on track?

Bobby Jindal, the Indian American governor of Louisiana who is seen as a potential Republican candidate for president in 2012, believes the ‘Grand Old Party’ needs to do three things.

“Number one, we’ve got to stop defending the kind of ... out of control spending that we never have tolerated in the other side,” he said Sunday on the CBS News programme Face the Nation.

“You know, when voters tell us that they trust Democrats more to cut their taxes, control spending, that tells you something’s wrong with the Republican Party.”

Two, the party must stop defending corruption, Jindal said, citing the case of Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, who was convicted of seven charges of felony last month. (Stevens now trails in a close re-election race.)

And three, the party must offer solutions to the problems American families face. “We don’t need to abandon our conservative principles,” Jindal said. But “we ... can’t just be the party of no. We need to offer real solutions on making health care more affordable, on the economic challenges facing families, on the international threats.”

Jindal is going to Iowa this week, and that has got a lot of people talking. Iowa, you see, holds the first presidential caucus.

The 37-year-old governor is to speak at a fund-raising banquet for the conservative Christian Iowa Family Policy Centre in Des Moines on Saturday.

Jindal, who has been dubbed the next Ronald Reagan by conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, has said he is not mounting a run, but not everyone’s convinced.

“You don’t just wander here to Iowa for the food or the weather in November,” Dennis Goldford, professor of politics at Drake University in Des Moines, told the News-Star of Monroe, Louisiana.

“It all begins now for the defeated group.”

It will be Jindal’s first visit to Iowa.

When asked on the CBS show about potential rival and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin stealing the show at the Republican Governors Association meeting last week, Jindal said:

“We need ... many messengers. But it’s not the messengers, it’s the substance, it’s the message that’s important.”