Looking to build himself up in the 2016 GOP presidential race, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled to Washington Thursday to try to tear front-runner Donald J. Trump down, calling the New York billionaire a “narcissist” and an “egomaniac.”
Mr. Jindal, speaking at the National Press Club, said that too much is riding on the 2016 election for conservatives to nominate Mr. Trump, saying the former “Apprentice” star does not believe in limited government.
“Here is the problem: Donald Trump is not a serious candidate,” the 44-year-old said. “He is a narcissist. He is an egomaniac. The only thing he believes in is himself.”
Mr. Jindal, meanwhile, described himself as a leader who is willing to say things about Mr. Trump that others think and know, but are afraid to say.
“He is a carnival act,” he said, before unleashing a series of attacks. “Donald Trump is shallow. He has no understanding of policy. He is full of bluster. He has no substance. He lacks the intellectual curious to even learn.”
Mr. Jindal has tried to position himself as the ideas man in the race, releasing policy plans on, among other things, health care and energy, but has struggled to make a major impact on the race.
He is polling nationally at the back of the pack with Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — though he is faring slightly better in Iowa, where he is running 10th and banking on strong showing to help prove that he is a serious contender for the party’s nomination.
Several candidates have tried to put a dent in Mr. Trump’s lead, including Mr. Graham, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Mr. Trump has countered with stinging critiques, and has highlighted how the candidates that have attacked him also have faded in polls.