Washington, Feb 6 (IANS) Louisiana’s former Indian-American Governor Bobby Jindal has endorsed Florida Senator Marco Rubio, giving the surging Republican presidential candidate a boost ahead of Tuesday’s primary in New Hamnpshire.
“Marco can unify our party. His optimistic message is bringing voters from across the party lines, from across different demographic groups,” Jindal told Fox News on Friday. “He can unify our party. He can win this election in November.”
“I think he’s a principled conservative. I think he is the right guy to lead us forward,” he added.
Jindal, who himself made a long shot run for president until he dropped his campaign in November in the face of low poll numbers, also said he was impressed by Rubio’s foreign policy.
“Marco’s been consistent about strengthening America’s foreign policy,” Jindal said. “Marco’s consistently stood up to the threat of ISIS and radical Islam.”
Rubio responded by calling Jindal “one of the smartest people in American politics.”
“He’s going to be a huge asset to our campaign,” Rubio said in a statement. “I think he has a very promising future in American politics. One of the best governors in America.”
“We’re really excited to have him on board. This is going to be a good boost to our campaign,” he added.
Jindal is the second former 2016 rival to endorse Rubio this week, as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum threw his support behind the Florida senator on Wednesday.
Rubio, who made a surprisingly strong third place finish in Iowa caucuses after Texas Senator Ted Cruz and frontrunner Donald Trump took a dig at his rivals saying running a country is not like being a real estate developer or being a governor.
“Again, being president of the United States is not like being a real estate developer, it’s not like being a governor, it is about being commander in chief,” he told NBC News.
“And on the most important issues before this country on national security, I have shown better judgment and a better understanding than anyone else running for president.”
Brushing aside concerns that he is “too scripted” Rubio argued that he gives the party the best chance to unify and expand the party and defeat Democratic frrontrunner Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Trump, as also New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, have hammered Rubio for not being experienced enough.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])