In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Bobby Jindal announced his withdrawal from the presidential race, bringing to a close a long-shot campaign in which the Louisiana governor try to pitch himself as a crusader for the rights of conservative Christians and the sole true conservative in a crowded field of Republican rivals.
“Americans can do anything,” he said. “But this is not my time, so I am suspending my campaign for President.”
“Going forward,” his statement continued, “I believe we have to be the party of growth and we can never stop being the party that believes in opportunity. We cannot settle for The Left’s view of envy and division.”
Throughout his campaign, Jindal accused his opponents and Republicans in Congress of failing to uphold conservative principles and of effectively turning the GOP into a “second liberal party.” He repeatedly chided the Republican establishment for failing to nominate a true conservative, in favor of a candidate which had been deemed “electable.”
If Republicans could not defund Planned Parenthood and abolish Obamacare, he said at the Sept. 16 debate, then it was “time to be done with the Republican party.”
“There’s no point having a second liberal party. Let’s get rid of the Republican party. Start over with a new one that is at least conservative.”
During the race, he took particular aim at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, whom he called a “carnival act” and an “egomaniacal, unserious person,” who was “full of bluster.”
“It’s not enough to elect just any conservative — we’ve seen that,” Jindal said at the Nov. 10 Republican debate, where he also admonished his party for trying “to be cheaper versions of the Democratic party,” and failing to “embrace our own principles.”
Despite his antics and frequent pandering to evangelicals (namely on the subjects of marriage equality and women’s health), Jindal, who entered the race in June with low approval ratings in his home state, never cracked the top-ten in national polls (and he performed only slightly better in Iowa). He had been relegated to the undercard stage at each of the first four Republican debates. And an analysis by FiveThirtyEight in June had pronounced his candidacy basically dead on arrival.
Jindal’s full statement is reposted below:
I cannot tell you what an honor it has been to run for President of the United States of America. My parents came to this country 45 years ago searching for freedom and a chance.
When I was born, we lived in student housing at LSU, and never in their wildest dreams did they think their son would have the opportunity to serve as Governor of Louisiana or to run for President.
They raised me to believe Americans can do anything, and they were right, we can. But this is not my time, so I am suspending my campaign for President.
Going forward, I believe we have to be the party of growth and we can never stop being the party that believes in opportunity. We cannot settle for The Left’s view of envy and division. We have to be the party that says everyone in this country – no matter the circumstances of their birth or who their parents are – can succeed in America.
One of the things I will do is go back to work at the think tank I started a few years ago – where I will be outlining a blueprint for making this the American century.
We must show the way forward on growing our economy and winning the war against terror, and especially defeating radical Islam.
I realize that our country is off on the wrong track right now. Everyone knows that, but don’t forget, this is still the greatest country in the history of the world – and every single one of us should start every day by thanking God that we are fortunate enough to be US citizens.
Now is the time for all those Americans who still believe in freedom and American exceptionalism to stand up and defend it. The idea of America – the idea that my parents came here for almost a half a century ago – that idea is slipping away from us. Freedom is under assault from both outside our borders and from within. We must act now, we do not have a moment to spare.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal speaks at the the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank