With politicians in the national government embittered, polarized and stalemated, Republican governors – led by Louisiana 2016 presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal – want their party to be defined by something better than dysfunction in Washington.
As head of the Republican Governors Association, Jindal unveiled a media campaign
that he says will show how conservative principles can successfully be turned into real policies.
Trying to create a political firewall between the mire in Washington and his own ambitions – in the summer he shocked some by saying Republicans needed "to stop being the stupid party" – on Wednesday Jindal blamed the federal government shutdown on "leaders across the board" though on no one congressional faction in particular, Politico reported.
With a series of advertisements, the GOP governors want to differentiate what they say is conservative competence at the state level from governmental stalemate in Washington.
"All of Washington, D.C. is dysfunctional," Jindal said. "It's not just a matter of who's in leadership or personalities or who's in power."
Besides opposing Obamacare and attacking the president as the "victim-in-chief" rather than a leader who can make government work, Jindal reiterated his own platform. He advocates sweeping "structural changes" in government including a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, congressional term limits, and requiring a legislative supermajority before taxes can be raised.
He also wants a supermajority before spending goes above the rate of population growth, Politico reported.
Beyond that, Jindal has long advocated a part-time Congress.
In Louisiana, in contrast, he supported a substantial pay increase for part-time legislators who complained that their job can't be done on a part-time basis, according to The New York Times.
The Republican governors' media drive, "American Comeback Campaign" begins Thursday starring Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Jindal himself.
In due course, there will be appearances by all of the country's 30 GOP governors, Jindal told a Washington news conference. Each governor ends their appearance with the mantra: "Republican governors are the ones who are driving America's comeback."
Jindal asserted: "As governors, we're no longer content to outsource the definition of our brand, or what it means to be a Republican, to Washington D.C."
While Jindal may want to position any presidential campaign as a race against Washington he would not necessarily have that brand to himself. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also touted as a possible Republican presidential candidate, is poised to coast to an easy victory in November against his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono.
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