Bobby Jindal: Only GOP rivals 'smart enough' to offer Obamacare alternatives should get spot on debate stage _lowres

Bobby Jindal speaks during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has been trying to claw his way onto the main stage in the recent GOP presidential debates, has come up with a new proposal: Candidates should be “smart enough” to offer up detailed plans if they want to be included.

Jindal, who has been relegated to the three early lower-tier debates because of low national polling, has been vocal about his efforts to change debate criteria to allow his inclusion among the top-tier, prime time candidates.

His campaign has both pushed for the inclusion of early-state measures (his campaign is focused heavily on Iowa, where he polls higher than his national average) or splitting the candidates into two evenly-sized, randomly-selected debate stages.

His latest call for change to the debate criteria highlights his plan for the federal Affordable Care Act’s repeal and replacement.

His news release takes aim at U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, by name, and other Republican rivals in passing. It repeatedly questions the intelligence of candidates who have not released Obamacare alternatives. Jindal graduated from Baton Rouge Magnet at the age of 16 before attending Brown University. He went on to be a Rhodes scholar.

“How about this – if you want to participate in the next Republican debate, you should be required to be smart enough to have a plan to replace Obamacare and restore freedom and sanity to America’s health care system,” Jindal said in a statement Tuesday, noting that he had released his own plan last year.

“Ted Cruz likes to try to shut down the government over Obamacare, but he’s never even bothered to come up with a replacement plan,” Jindal said. “All the candidates complain about Obamacare and campaign against it, but they don’t apparently have the smarts or the courage to produce their own plan.”


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