Jindal: GOP needs to avoid ‘austerity’ label

March 15, 2013

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said in his speech Friday to the Conservative Political Action Conference that the GOP needs to stop allowing itself to be defined by austerity if it wants to win elections.

"We must not become the party of austerity; we must become the party of growth," he said at the convention in suburban Washington. "Now, of course we know that government is out of control. The public knows that too, and yet we just lost an election. We must not continue to fight on our opponents’ terms."

The Pelican state governor and former congressman is considered a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate. As he has before, he urged his party to turn its focus outside of Washington, D.C., and not be defined by dysfunction in the nation's capital.

And in a line that will be examined when it comes to his designs on the presidency, Jindal seemed to suggest he'd rather not be leading Washington as currently constituted.

"If our end goal is to simply better manage the disaster that is the federal government, you can count me out. I'm not signing up for that," he said. "Honestly, who here wants to sign up to manage the slow decline of the United States of America? I sure don't. That's what we've got Democrats for."

Jindal's speech borrowed heavily from his speech before the Republican National Committee in January. He also began with five minutes worth of jokes that he told earlier this month at the Gridiron Dinner in Washington.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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