- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Paul, Jindal lay groundwork with GOP in early voting states
Two likely 2016 candidates make Iowa, N.H. forays
Laying the groundwork this weekend for likely White House bids, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal reached out to Republican voters in the two states that open the presidential nomination race — sounding the unofficial starting gun of the 2016 campaign.
Mr. Paul, 50, and Mr. Jindal, 41, are thought to be among the front-runners for the GOP nomination, and the dueling appearances in Iowa, home to the caucuses that kick off the competition, and New Hampshire, home to the first primary in the nation, provided a glimpse into where they'd like to steer the party.
Speaking at the Iowa Lincoln Day Dinner in Cedar Rapids, Mr. Paul said the party must broaden its appeal and soften its rhetoric on immigration if it hopes to attract Hispanic voters.
"We have to change the way we are talking about [immigration] ... if we want to attract Latino vote. We need to treat immigrants with dignity and respect," he said.
He spoke in a casual manner, standing beside a lectern, and he warmed up the crowd with jokes about the Federal Reserve, "Obamacare" and the sequester spending cuts before taking aim at the way former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton handled the attacks on a consulate in Benghazi, which led to the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
"It was inexcusable, it was a dereliction of duty and it should preclude her from holding higher office," Mr. Paul said, sparking a round of applause.
Mr. Jindal, meanwhile, told attendees at a Republican Senate Majority Committee fundraiser in Manchester, N.H., that the GOP must be the party of "growth and opportunity" and fight to expand school choice.
"We should stand as a party and as a conservative movement for providing a great education to every child in this state and in this country," Mr. Jindal said, adding that there are too many children trapped in neighborhoods with bad public schools.
Mr. Jindal touted the school choice programs that have been adopted in Louisiana, saying they have strengthened student achievement, and rewarded teachers on performance, rather than tenure.
"It is letting the dollars follow the kids and putting a great teacher in every classroom," he said. "This is the right thing to do for our states, our country. It also is the right thing for us to do as a Republican Party."
The speeches came roughly six months after the 2012 election in which President Obama won overwhelming support from women, young voters and Hispanics.
Republicans also failed to pick up seats in the House and Senate despite sluggish economic growth and high unemployment.
The University of Virginia's Center for Politics ranks Mr. Paul and Mr. Jindal in the second tier of potential GOP contenders, placing them behind Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Mr. Paul, hoping to build on the political movement launched by his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, is making the case that his libertarian brand of politics can attract voters that turned away from Republicans in the last two presidential elections.
Mr. Paul, who is also slated to speak at a New Hampshire fundraiser next week and a South Carolina fundraiser in June, raised his national profile two months ago with a 13-hour filibuster that forced the Obama administration to clarify its position on the use of drones against U.S. citizens accused of being linked to terrorists.
Mr. Jindal, meanwhile, was the first Indian-American governor to be elected in any state.
He has supported a federal marriage amendment and won kudos from conservatives for the way he has fought to increase school choice and to overhaul Louisiana's tax code.
After the 2012 election, Mr. Jindal criticized Mr. Romney's infamous "47 percent" remark, and said the GOP needs to stop being the "stupid" party.
"What I meant by that was we've got to present thoughtful policy solutions to the American people — not just bumper stickers, not just 30-second solutions," Mr. Jindal said Friday. "We have to have the confidence and the courage in our convictions and show them that our ideas will benefit them."
Steven Duprey, a Republican National Committee member from New Hampshire who ran Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign in the state, said that Mr. Jindal's appearance in the Granite State is a smart move.
"For candidates who might not have as much money as some others, or who aren't yet nationally known, this is a great time to come to New Hampshire to start to introduce themselves and to listen to what New Hampshire voters are concerned about," Mr. Duprey said. "Anyone who thinks the Republican rules only favor the better-known and better-funded candidates should not complain. Instead they should come to New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada. There are lots of low fares to each of those states."
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Hard-fought congressional election in Florida is seen as a bellwether
- Former Iowa GOP chief takes post with Rand Paul PAC
- CPAC 2014: Straw poll signals Paul-Cruz showdown for conservative voters
- CPAC 2014: Poll shows GOP discontent, Congress frustration
- Palin dings Obama, calls for conservative reinforcements in Washington
Latest Blog Entries
- Most New Jersey voters say Gov. Chris Christie lied
- Political handicapper: GOP poised to win House seats in 2014
- Axelrod: Christie can recover from the bridge scandal
- ACLJ: Appointment of Obama supporter to lead IRS probe 'troubling'
- Americans support minimum wage increase, extending jobless benefits: poll
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Unanimous Senate passes bill on military sex assault to give victims more say in prosecution
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again