Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal revealed that he will make a “major announcement” about his 2016 presidential ambitions in New Orleans on June 24, in a Wednesday morning press release.
A former Louisiana congressman and Rhodes Scholar, Jindal has sought to distinguish himself among his fellow 2016 hopefuls as a foreign policy hawk and a champion of so-called “religious freedom” legislation, which critics say could be used by businesses to discriminate against LGBT patrons. Last month, Jindal issued an executive order enforcing religious freedom protections in the Bayou State just hours after state lawmakers killed a similar law, cementing his position as one of the GOP field’s foremost culture warriors.
Jindal formed an exploratory committee on May 18 to assist him in deciding whether to seek the Republican nomination, saying he would make a final decision in June, “after the legislative session in Louisiana ends.”
“For some time now, my wife Supriya and I have been thinking and praying about whether to run for the Presidency of our great nation,” Jindal said at the time. “If I run, my candidacy will be based on the idea that the American people are ready to try a dramatically different direction. Not a course correction, but a dramatically different path.”
“President Obama has started to redefine the American Dream, turning it into the European Nightmare. Because of this, I believe our country is in serious trouble and that the hour is late for America. Economic collapse is much closer to the door than people realize, our culture is decaying at a rapid rate, and our standing in a dangerous world is at an all-time low,” he added.
Citing what he called “7 years of weak leadership” under Obama, Jindal said the nation’s problems won’t be fixed simply by sending more Republicans to Congress, but can be by a president willing to make “hard decisions.”
While Jindal prepares to address the nation on June 24, surveys show the Louisiana governor struggling with his constituents at home. According to a May poll of 600 likely voters by Southern Media & Opinion Research, “Jindal’s job performance rating is at an all time low” with just 31.8% of Louisiana voters giving the Republican a positive job performance rating – almost on par with former Gov. Kathleen Blanco after Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area in 2005.