the national interest

Bobby Jindal: If We’re Smearing Obama’s Patriotism Here, I Want In

Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., speaks during Sen. Tim Scott's National School Choice Forum on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015.
Bobby Jindal – humanitarian, intellectual, patriot. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

When Rudy Giuliani, speaking at a Scott Walker event last night, declared, “I do not believe that the president loves America,” it might have been mildly uncomfortable for Walker, who may or may not want his campaign message to be defined by xenophobic racist dog whistles. Indeed, when asked the next day, Walker dodged. “The mayor can speak for himself,” he answered, or, rather, non-answered. “I’m not going to comment on what the president thinks or not. He can speak for himself as well.

Maaaybe the president of the United States of America loves the country of which he is president. Or maybe he wishes he were really president of some other country, like Kenya or Indonesia or Hawaii. There’s really no way to know. It’s a question.

The figure most discomfited by this turn of events was not Walker but Bobby Jindal, a rival candidate. Racially tinged dog whistles are Jindal’s thing. This has been his major point of differentiation against fellow Republicans. He can’t just sit there and let Walker bask alone in the reflected glory of Giuliani’s smear.

So Jindal released a statement to the media that he would not condemn Giuliani’s statement. Nobody even asked him, but just in case you were wondering what Jindal thought about smearing Obama’s patriotism — which was not a subject of intense curiosity, for the same reason nobody has wondered what Harvey Fierstein thinks about Alabama blocking gay marriage — he has cleared things up. No Walker-style dodge here.

Jindal Wants In on Obama Patriotism Smearing