Bobby Jindal: We can’t be ‘dumbed-down’ party

In an interview with Politico, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized the Republican party as too anti-intellectual and too beholden to the wealthy. 

He said that "offensive, bizarre" comments have damaged the party's brand. "We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism," he added. "We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters."

On policy, he suggested a more populist orientation. “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," he said. "We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

The governor expressed support for some Democratic banking regulations and said he was open to more tax credits and deductions for low-income Americans.

Jindal will lead the Republican Governors Association next year. The Indian-American, policy-oriented governor seems all but certain to run in 2016; with this interview he is positioning himself as a populist reformer within the GOP. He joins a number of conservative commentators who have argued that the Republican party needs to reach out to lower-income voters on economic issues.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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Rachel Weiner · November 13, 2012