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POLITICS: PennAve

Bobby Jindal steps out in New Hampshire

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Politics,Republican Party,Louisiana,New Hampshire,2016 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Bobby Jindal

NASHUA, N.H. -- When Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled to New Hampshire on Friday, he came armed with jokes.

"I wonder, are we witnessing the most extremely liberally ideological administration in our country's modern history?" Jindal, a Republican weighing running for president in 2016, said of President Obama. "Or, are we witnessing the most incompetent administration in our modern history?"

This drew laughs from the crowd at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, but Jindal wasn't finished.

"Well, to quote Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, what difference does it make?" Jindal added to further guffaws, referencing the line from Clinton's testimony to a congressional committee.

Jindal was the featured speaker Friday during his second trip to New Hampshire, a key early presidential primary state. He took his previous trip, in May, for a Senate Republican fundraiser; now, he was presenting himself for the first time to some of the voters who will decide whether he should be the Republican nominee for president, if he decides to run.

He sounded like a candidate Friday night, as he hit on some crowd-pleasing Republican themes, such as gun-ownership rights and smaller government, and he peppered in sure-hit laugh lines.

"If you like your religion, you can keep your religion," Jindal deadpanned at one point, as he railed against Democrats for infringing on religious freedom.

But the meat of Jindal's remarks focused on what he has framed as his signature issue, his fight to bring a school voucher program to Louisiana and the subsequent federal court battles over whether the program meets desegregation standards.

"We had protests on the Capitol, we had recall efforts against me, against our speaker, against the chairman," Jindal said. "It got so bad, I would tell my young kids every time there was a protest, 'Look, those are parades for Daddy. That's why they've got Daddy's picture out there.'"

If that sounds familiar, it should: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, another potential Republican thought to be considering a presidential bid in 2016, shot to conservative stardom as a union-busting governor who Democrats attempted unsuccessfully to recall from office.

Walker's story is gospel for many conservative Republicans, but Jindal is expected to travel extensively to important primary states in the coming months to continue to spread his own.

A few days before he visited New Hampshire, Jindal launched a PAC, "Stand Up to Washington," to support Republican candidates during the 2014 midterm election cycle.

Jindal also spoke Friday at the Wild Irish Breakfast in New Hampshire.

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Author:

Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner