WASHINGTON – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a onetime rising GOP star whose popularity has plummeted in his own state, abruptly dropped out of the presidential race on Tuesday, conceding that he was unable to find any traction.
“This is not my time,” he said on Fox News.
Jindal unveiled a series of policy proposals, ferociously attacked Donald Trump, and spent considerable time courting conservatives in Iowa. None of it worked. He raised little money, did not rise high enough in the polls to appear on the prime-time debate stage and was overshadowed by such unconventional candidates as Trump and Ben Carson.
In withdrawing, Jindal alluded to his parents’ emigration to the U.S. from India 45 years ago.
“I don’t think in a million years they would have ever imagined that I’d be governor or one day I’d be running for president of the United States,” he said.
Jindal’s withdrawal comes days before a runoff election in the Louisiana governor’s race, a contest in which the candidates in both parties have intermittently criticized the once-popular incumbent.
Term-limited and out of office in January, Jindal said he will work with a think tank he started a few years ago, called America Next, to devise what he called “a blueprint for making this the American century.”
“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,” Jindal said.
He focused his entire campaign effort on Iowa, first courting evangelical voters and then trying to broaden his appeal as a candidate with conservative policy plans that others weren’t offering.
He was facing a major cash crunch to keep the campaign going, after wrapping up the last fundraising period with $261,000 on hand.
Jindal is the third Republican contender to exit the race. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker suspended their campaigns earlier this year.