Jindal: GOP Must Reject Identity Politics

Jindal: GOP Must Reject Identity Politics

On Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Republicans needed to be smarter and less vulnerable to being stereotyped as the party that simply protects the interests of the rich while rejecting identity politics that pander to minority interest groups. 

“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything,” Jindal said. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

Jindal, who is known for being a wonk and familiar and fluent with even with the most minor of policy details, said he has had “enough of this dumbed-down conservatism.” He said Republicans need to “stop being simplistic,” “trust the intelligence of the American people,” and “stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

The governor’s comments to Politico suggest the incoming Chair of the influential Republican Governors Association is thinking about running for the Republican nomination for president in 2016 even though he punted when asked if he would. 

Jindal pointed out that Republicans damaged the GOP brand with “offensive, bizarre comments” and such comments cannot be “tolerated within our party” anymore.

Jindal also railed against lobbyists that game the system and try to influence both parties. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has often railed against these members of what she calls is the “permanent political class.” Talk radio host Mark Levin said these lobbyists and consultants are destroying America while getting fat paychecks. 

“They’re access donors because they know whoever is in power — that’s who they want to be friends with to get their special perks in the Tax Code,” Jindal said. “We’re a populist party and we’ve got to make that clear going forward,” he said.

Jindal again emphasized that if Republicans do not know how to speak to working class voters, Democrats will brutally stereotype them as the party of plutocrats — like Obama did — and win elections. 

“You’ve got to give the president’s team credit: They did a very good job portraying the Republican Party as wanting to just preserve the status quo for those who’ve already been successful and burn the bridge behind them,” Jindal said. “That’s not what we as a party stand for and what we as a party can stand for.”