Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy got the anticipated endorsement of Gov. Bobby Jindal on Wednesday — a day after securing a spot in the Dec. 6 U.S. Senate runoff against Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu.
But Jindal isn’t the only possible Republican presidential candidate who is throwing his support behind Cassidy.
On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and darling of the GOP’s tea party faction, sent an email to supporters urging them to give to Cassidy’s campaign.
“He’s got a tough battle ahead of him, and needs your help,” Cruz’s email reads, with an embedded donation link. “I encourage you to unite around Bill Cassidy so we can defeat Mary Landrieu.”
Jindal said Wednesday that Louisiana voters should reject Landrieu because she does not represent Louisiana values. “Our state has a clear choice to make,” said Jindal as he endorsed Landrieu’s Dec. 6 runoff opponent Cassidy.
Jindal said he is prepared to campaign for Cassidy as well as Republicans Garret Graves and Dr. Ralph Abraham, who are in congressional runoff elections in the 6th and 5th Congressional Districts, respectively. None of the candidates attended a Governor’s Mansion news conference Jindal called to discuss national and state politics in the wake of Tuesday’s election.
Cassidy and the national GOP machine have portrayed Landrieu as a surrogate of President Barack Obama and the liberal Democratic Senate leadership.
But Jindal said the runoff is not about Obama or Senate majority leader Harry Reid.
“This race is about whether Mary Landrieu continues to represent Louisiana values,” Jindal said. “Maybe at one time she represented Louisiana values. She no longer does.”
Jindal pointed to positions he said Landrieu took against 2nd Amendment gun rights and in favor of the federal Affordable Care Act.
“She’s got a lot of explaining to do,” Jindal said.
Cassidy is a community-minded physician, he said, adding, “Bill will be more in tune” with Louisiana values.
On the national scene, Jindal said Republicans cannot waste the opportunity they will have with control of the U.S. House and Senate as a result of Tuesday’s election. “We can’t just be the party of no,” said Jindal, who is flirting with a presidential bid. “We have to offer our own solutions.” He said the public expects “big changes in D.C.”
Those in power should look at the ideas outlined in papers developed through his America Next nonprofit for change in health care, energy independence and foreign policy, Jindal said. “We are now working on a next plan on education policy,” he said.
Jindal said he’ll make a decision on whether to run for president in consultation with wife, Supriya, “sometime in the first half of next year.”
Jindal said he would prefer the nominee come from the governor’s ranks — “folks who have actually run things before.”
Follow Marsha Shuler on Twitter, @MarshaShulerCNB. For more coverage of the State Capitol, follow Louisiana Politics at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog.