Washington: Bobby Jindal, the Indian
American Governor of Louisiana, has advised Republicans to
refrain from demonising Barack Obama, saying it was absolutely
crucial to defeat the President but "foolish" to hate him.
Jindal, 40, chose a Republican conference in New
Orleans to caution conservative activists that they ought not
demonise the president in the fashion some liberals did
President George Bush during his eight-year presidency.
"We must not mimic their shallow approach," said the
Republican leader, who is up for re-election this fall,
The soft-spoken Governor, who is widely believed to
have national ambitions, reminded the audience of the "shrill,
absurd and negative rhetoric" by the leftists against Bush to
press his point that the conservatives should not employ the
same tactics against Obama.
Jindal said he neither had doubt over Obama`s
patriotism, nor did he want to return to the queries over
whether he was born in America, but he had serious
reservations over his policies.
"I don`t question where`s he from, I question where
President Obama is going," said Jindal.
"I`ve got no doubt that President Obama loves this
country," he said, but added that what the incumbent "thinks
is best for this country is in reality a complete disaster".
Jindal also urged conservatives to channel their
disdain for the incumbent, Politico said.
"Hating President Obama is foolish, but defeating
President Obama is absolutely crucial," he said.
In an interview following his speech, Jindal also made
it clear that as Americans it was the duty of Republicans to
respect the office of the president and even said it was not
right to be "distracted by ad hominem attacks".
"We as Republicans are Americans first - we have to
have respect for the office of the president... We need to be
serious about this debate, it`s an important debate about the
future of our country. We can`t be distracted by ad hominem
attacks," he said.
"I think It`s hypocritical to say, well, it`s not
patriotic when they do that to President Bush but it`s ok for
our side to it to President Obama."
However, the Governor was evasive as always about his
national intentions and over questions of a possible
presidential run in 2016.
"I`ve got the job I want," he reiterated his earlier
position, and when asked specifically about 2016, he just
chose to say: "I`m running for re-election as governor of
On the chatter in political circles, especially from
his opponents, about his eventual move from Louisiana for the
national stage, Jindal characterised it as "wishful thinking"
and said: "They`re just hoping they don`t have to keep
However, he reacted with gratitude to the recent
comments by the Republican Speaker of the House in Louisiana
that he would support an eventual Jindal presidential bid.
"Louisiana likes to take pride in their sons and
daughters, no matter what party" he said, calling comments
such as that from the speaker as "flattering."