Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has been heralded as everything from the next Barack Obama to the next Ronald Reagan. As the GOP searches for a new leader, Jindal is seen by some conservatives as their best hope of capturing the White House in 2012. But Jindal’s abysmal response to Obama’s address to the nation on Tuesday has been ridiculed by commentators across the political spectrum, raising doubts about his 2012 ambitions.
Stepping up in Jindal’s defense yesterday, Rush Limbaugh warned his fellow conservatives yesterday not to say negative things about Jindal. “Those of you who think Jindal was horrible….I don’t ever want to hear from you ever again,” he said.
One Republican who isn’t heeding Limbaugh’s warnings is the anti-immigrant zealot and former congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO). In an interview with ThinkProgress at the CPAC conference today, Tancredo declared that Jindal’s speech marks the end of his presidential ambitions:
TP: [Jindal] has gotten some flack for his performance on the response to Obama. I’m curious what your thoughts on it was.
TANCREDO: Great content. Lousy delivery. And I’m sorry to say this because I like him a lot. I served with him. Good guy. Solid guy. But I think that performance would very well have put the last nail in the coffin for him, for running for president. Mostly because what we are desperately looking for today in this party is a leader. Bobby Jindal is a great intellect, but his capacity to lead just is, his bearing, is not there. At least, it wasn’t there.
“I’m not saying he can’t overcome it, but I’m telling you it’s a major obstacle now. And I’m sorry about that,” Tancredo said. “In this business, often times you need more sizzle than steak.”
RNC Chairman Michael Steele says Jindal is doing a “friggin awesome job” and offers up some “slum love“:
SLIWA: Because he is — when guys look at him and young women look at him — they say oh, that’s the slumdog millionaire, governor. So, give me some slum love.
STEELE: I love it. (inaudible) … some slum love out to my buddy. Gov. Bobby Jindal is doing a friggin’ awesome job in his state. He’s really turned around on some core principles — like hey, government ought not be corrupt. The good stuff … the easy stuff.