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Could Bobby Jindal Ride the Energy Boom to the White House?

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made headlines across the political blogosphere Tuesday by releasing an energy plan that he says will make America an energy superpower.

But what grabbed headlines wasn’t the plan itself, but comments the Governor made which indicate a possible presidential run in 2016. The Governor appeared at multiple events in Washington D.C. Tuesday, starting the morning at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor before appearing at a public event at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

At a lunch event with reporters following his Heritage appearance, the Governor reiterated much of what he has said publicly about President Obama, his own presidential ambitions, and public policy issues.

“We now face an administration that is composed and comprised of science deniers, when you look at their approach to energy and the environment,” he said. “You look at an administration that is holding our economy hostage to their radical views, it really is an article of religious faith among this administration the way they approach these questions of policy.”

Fracking has caused an energy revolution. (Shutterstock.com)

Fracking has caused an energy revolution. (Shutterstock.com)

Gov. Jindal noted that the left has shifted its views on natural gas since fracking unlocked decades worth of American energy. It went from being the clean alternative to oil to yet another ‘bad’ non-renewable energy source in the minds of the left.

“They were all for natural gas until it became plentiful, thanks to the fracking revolution, then they opposed it,” he said.

The Governor also noted that anti-energy policies in America actually damage the economy because they shift energy production to countries overseas which have less stringent environmental regulations.

He framed the issue in the way a presidential candidate might: America has a “fundamental choice” to make.

“America’s got a fundamental choice to make,” Gov. Jindal said. “We can either choose the path that leads to more scarcity, more expensive energy, fewer good paying jobs, or we can embrace a future were we have affordable energy, good paying jobs at home, lower energy prices for our people.”

The Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney has more on Jindal’s energy plan if you’re interested.

Running for President?

Putting out a detailed energy plan sounds like something a presidential candidate might do, so naturally reporters asked the Louisiana Governor about his ambitions.

At the Christian Science Monitor breakfast, the Governor explained how he would decide to run.

“If I were to decide to run for 2016, it would have nothing to do with polls or fundraising,” he told reporters at a Monitor breakfast Tuesday. Rather, his decision making process would be much like the ones he used in deciding to run in other races – for Louisiana governor in 2003 (he lost), for the US House in 2004 (he won), and again for the governorship in 2007 (he won and was overwhelmingly reelected in 2011).

The determining questions, he said, are, “Do I think I can make a difference, do I think I have something unique to offer?”

Speaking to reporters over lunch, Gov. Jindal elaborated a bit more on his thought process.

Gov. Jindal appearing at CPAC 2014 (Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com)

Gov. Jindal appearing at CPAC 2014 (Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com)

“I won’t be coy, I’m absolutely thinking and praying about running in ’16,” he said. “I certainly wouldn’t make that decision before November. I think every Republican, every conservative, needs to be focused on the elections in front of us.”

Governor Jindal has been active in the 2014 contests, spending time over the weekend with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

“I think anybody thinking about running for president especially a Republican, especially a conservative, more important than the timeline is…we need to understand people are hungry for big change,” he said. “They aren’t looking for tinkering, they are looking for a hostile takeover of D.C.”

Could Bobby Jindal lead that hostile takeover? Unlike certain leaders within the conservative sphere of influence, Gov. Jindal is more focused on policy than anti-Obama talking points.

“Just being anti-Obama is not enough,” he said. “We do need to reign in the EPA and the Department of Education, we need to repeal Obamacare, but I think voters are looking for Republicans to do something, to offer real ideas, real solutions.”

For Gov. Jindal, saying ‘no’ is not enough.

“I said this famously in ’12, we can’t just be the party of no,” he said. “Independent of my decision, we’ve got to be the party of ideas and specific solutions. And by the way, our ideas work.”

Gov. Jindal added that after eight years of President Obama, he believes the American people will be looking for a “competent” person to occupy the White House.

As a popular Governor who opposed Medicaid expansion, presided over a growing economy in the wake of natural disaster, and implemented once of the nation’s most comprehensive school choice programs, he just may be that person. If he thinks so, don’t be surprised to see him on the campaign trail after November.

Featured image: Shutterstock.com 

Josh Kaib

Josh Kaib is the Assistant Editor of Watchdog Wire. Twitter: @joshkaib

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