Just a day after the legislative session ends this week, Gov. Bobby Jindal will be heading to South Carolina to participate in a massive prayer rally similar to the one he held at LSU earlier this year.
The Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier reports that Jindal, who is expected to announce later this month that he’s running for president, will head to the Palmetto State on Friday and meet with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley before participating in the South Carolina version of The Response on Saturday. The Louisiana Legislature wraps up its 2015 regular session at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Jindal held his version of The Response at LSU in January. The event drew thousands and Jindal gave a testimony about his conversion from Hinduism to Christianity, but it also created some backlash for the term-limited Republican governor. Jindal said he invited every governor in the country — Christian or not — to that event, but no others were noted as featured guests at The Response: Louisiana, so it’s not clear whether anyone took him up on the offer.
Critics argued that the event was a platform for Jindal to build on his political ambitions, and they criticized its ties to the American Family Association, which the Southern Poverty Law Center labels as a hate group because of its anti-gay positions. Several hundred people protested outside the event.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry held “The Response” in Houston prior to his run for president in 2011.
Jindal has spent the past several months traveling to early primary states, including South Carolina, to tout national policies. Jindal’s official 2016 announcement event will be at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner at 4 p.m. June 24.
According to the Post and Courier, organizers of the South Carolina prayer rally are hoping to draw 10,000 participants. The Baton Rouge event drew only about 4,000, despite organizers securing use of LSU’s 14,000-capacity Pete Maravich Assembly Center, thanks to help from a Jindal LSU Board of Supervisors appointee and political ally. Emails obtained by The Advocate showed it also had been expected to draw up to 10,000 people.
After spending the weekend in South Carolina, Jindal is slated to be in Iowa on Monday for a forum sponsored by the Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier. He will join several other potential presidential candidates for an event in Washington, D.C., later in the week.
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