Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Tuesday announced he was ending his campaign for president.
“This is not my time,” Jindal told Fox News’ Bret Baier. “I’ve come to the realization that this is not my time. So I’ve come here to announce that I am suspending my campaign for president of the United States.”
Jindal, 44, was once seen as a rising star in the Republican Party and a strong contender for the White House. The Brown University graduate and Rhodes Scholar was viewed as a strong voice for a Republican Party looking to reach out to minorities and broaden its base.
He rose to prominence at the start of President Barack Obama’s first term and was given a major spot delivering the Republican Party’s rebuttal to the State of the Union address in 2009, but delivered a widely-panned performance.
Jindal’s presidential campaign never gained traction as he, along with other establishment Republican candidates, fell victim to the GOP’s desire for outsider candidates such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who have never held public office.
He never topped 2% in any CNN/ORC poll and never advanced past the “undercard” round at the Republican debates held thus far.
A top adviser to Jindal told CNN he may endorse one of his former Republican rivals. But if he does, it will not be imminent.
He has a respectable following among some Iowa conservative activists, the product of spending years planning a presidential run.
He is the latest governor to drop out of the race, following Scott Walker and Rick Perry. One adviser said Jindal believes government experience is needed in a presidential candidate, so he is more likely to back Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio than Trump or Carson, the two leading candidates in the race.
Jindal reached his decision, two aides said, because he didn’t want to go into debt and realized there was no credible path to the nomination.
As he left the Fox News studio in Washington Tuesday night, a CNN reporter asked Jindal about who would be the Republican nominee.
“It’s not going to be Trump,” Jindal said. “It’ll be somebody else.”
Elsewhere D r. Ben Carson was facing new questions about his foreign policy capabilities.
One of his closest advisers, Armstrong Williams, said Carson was having intense briefing sessions with former US State Department and military officials, but admitted the retired neurosurgeon sometimes struggled to explain foreign affairs on the campaign trail.
The New York Times published a story quoting one of Carson’s advisers saying the candidate had trouble grasping the complexities of the Middle East.
Former CIA agent Duane Clarridge told the newspaper Mr Carson needed briefings so “we can make him smart”.
The Carson campaign hit back at Mr Clarridge, describing him as “an elderly gentleman” who was not among Carson’s inner circle.