Tags: Gov | Jindal | mccain | vp

Gov. Jindal Says He's Unlikely McCain VP

Tuesday, 06 May 2008 08:20 AM

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The young Indian-American governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, said in an interview with Fox News on Monday he did not expect John McCain to ask him to be his running mate for the November election.

Jindal's name has been floated increasingly in recent days as a vice presidential choice of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate.

At 36 the Louisiana governor would offer an age counterbalance to Senator McCain, who if elected would be -- at 72 -- the oldest US president to take his first-term oath of office.

"Let me be clear -- I do not think the senator is going to ask," Jindal said in an interview Monday with Fox.

"I am flattered that my name made the list, but we have important work to do," said Jindal, who in January took office as governor of Louisiana. The southern state is still recovering from the devastation caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Louisiana to be built better than we were before the storms. This is where I want to be. This is where I think I was meant to be," he told Fox.

Jindal's name was first mentioned as a possible McCain running mate by influential conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh in March. Limbaugh even described Jindal as the next Ronald Reagan, the icon of US conservatives.

Jindal told Fox he thought McCain would be elected president "not because his (Democratic) competitors are being weakened, but because I think we live in a conservative country."

According to the US constitution, a person has to be a natural-born citizen and at least thirty-five years old to be president.

The youngest US president ever to take office was John F. Kennedy, who swore in at the age of 43 in January 1961. The oldest was Ronald Reagan, who was one month shy of 74 when he took the oath for his second, four-year term in office in January 1985.

Jindal, the son of Punjabi immigrants to Louisiana, is the first Indian-American ever elected to govern a US state. He is also the youngest current sitting governor.

When asked about vice-presidential prospects on May 2 Jindal's answer was slightly different.

"He's not going to ask me to run," Jindal told reporters in Washington. "I think it would be presumptuous to turn down something I've not been offered.

"I likened it earlier this week to like going to high school and telling the prettiest girl in the high school 'I'm not going to prom with you' before she asks me. I like the job I've got."

-AFP

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