Jindal talks about VP picks of the past, his role for Romney

I had a chance to interview Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal late this afternoon on the Romney campaign bus that’s winding through Iowa today. (Virginia’s governor dropped off the tour before it reached Newton; he missed the stop at the Maid Rite in Newton. Loose meat sandwiches to go were ordered for the bus as it left en route to West Des Moines for Jindal’s solo appearance there.)

I asked a couple of VP-esque questions of Jindal.  The transcript is below:

Henderson: What’s it like to have the spectre of everyone gossiping about you as a potential vice presidential running mate as you go traipsing around the country?

Jindal:  “I keep reminding folks that this election is not about Joe Biden. It’s about Governor Romney and President Obama. I think there are going to be a lot of interesting storylines between now and election day and a lot of things that are going to seem important today that at the end of the day really aren’t going to be important when voters go in the voting booth and I think the v.p. speculation is an example of that. I think at the end of the day, whoever the governor picks is not going to be the person that drives this election.”

Henderson: “The other thing that occurs to me is if you think of Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and Jack Kemp, none of them were out on the hustings pounding the drum for their future running mates. Are you sort of the shiny, look-at-me object to sort of deflect attention from who the potential pick may be?”

Jindal: “I’m flattered that you would describe me as shiny. (Laugh)  Other than my wife, I’m not sure anybody has described me in any term close to that, and she’s never used those terms. A couple of thoughts: One, I do think it’s interesting, given all the speculation from the pundits, I can’t remember. When was the last time anybody, in either party, actually got the vice presidential eventual pick right? I mean, you look back at it. Sarah Palin was a surprise to most experts. Dick Cheney was a surprise to most experts and even on the Democratic side Joe Biden wasn’t really on the top of most people’s’ list, if you’re really honest about it.  You know, in hindsight everybody says they were thinking about  it, but if you’re really honest you’ve got to go back (to) maybe John Edwards, maybe George Bush, Sr. were the only two in the last few decades where those two were the most mentioned, most probable picks. Two quick things about the v.p.  Obviously we’re referring all those questions, comments, whatever to the campaign. I think my role is to focus folks attention on what the important issues are.” 

Heading out of Newton now; back later with more from the conversation. 

UPDATE: Here’s the Radio Iowa story, with audio of remarks Jindal made to the crowd at the Newton Maid Rite as well as audio of his Radio Iowa interview.

During his short speech in Newton, Jindal referenced Occupy Wall Street, joked about deep-fat frying of Maid Rites and emphasized that Romney & Obama have “two visions” for the country.

…“Who we vote for matters,” Jindal said.”It’s not about speaking styles. It’s not about personalities. This is about two very different visions for Iowa, for America.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.