Gov. Bobby Jindal announces presidential run

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KENNER, LA (WGNO) -  Governor Bobby Jindal will run for President of the United States. The Louisiana governor tweeted the news Wednesday morning, 4-hours before his official campaign announcement at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

"I'm running for President of the United States of America. Join me," Jindal tweeted, with a link to his website's announcement page.

Wednesday afternoon, Jindal's campaign announcement in Kenner included video testimonials from former Saints player Archie Manning and former governor Mike Foster.

Jindal's wife was the first to take the stage.  She caller her husband fearless at several points in her speech.  She also talked about Jindal's first run for governor, a race he lost but still made a big name for himself.

"There were already a dozen candidates in the race including the best known politicians in our state," Supriya Jindal said.  "Sound familiar?"

The comment pointed out the coincidence that Jindal joined the presidential fray as the 13th republican to announce and file papers to run.

About 500 people were expected to turnout for the announcement.  When Jindal took to the podium, he told them, "I am running for president of the greatest country in the world."

Jindal went on to tout his record of budget cuts, reduced government, education reform and economic growth in the state during his eight years as governor.

"I'm not running for president to be somebody.  I'm running for president to do something," he added.

Then he went on the attack, targeted President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and republican candidate Jeb Bush who, according to some polls, leads all other GOP candidates in the race.

"You heard Jeb Bush say that we need to be willing to lose the primary to win the general election," Jindal said while making points to prove he is the more conservative of the two.

Political analyst and WGSO 990 AM radio host Jeff Crouere says Jindal will have to work quickly to become one of the top GOP candidates in the race.

"I think he wants to be the conservative alternative to the guy that he mentioned, and that's Jeb Bush," Crouere told WGNO News.  Crouere also says that the number of republicans in the race could grow, so the early campaign battles could be fought simply hoping to poll high enough to be included in the cable news channels' presidential debates which are expected to begin before any state's primary.

"If you don't make the top 10 (candidates), I don't see a path for you to move forward," Crouere said.

Jindal also covered his religious faith, pro-life record, and plans to fight Islamic extremism.

Outside of the Pontchartrain Center, a crowd of perhaps 100 protestors gathered to rally against Jindal's presidential hopes.  Many of them say Jindal cut the state's budget too far, hurting education, healthcare, and more recently, the state's film tax incentive program.

For more coverage of Jindal's announcement, including additional comments from the governor, click on the video button above.

As for the protestors, they began organizing their rally as soon as they heard Jindal planned to make the announcement in the New Orleans area.

“We just decided to give him a nice, warm welcome when he got here, facetiously,” protest organizer Christopher Williams told WGNO News the evening before the big event.

Williams said he initially began organizing his protest as an effort to bring together disgruntled education and healthcare workers in the state. But those who work in the film industry proved to be some of the louder voices, after Jindal signed a bill last Friday that will reduce tax credits for movie productions.

Jindal is now polling toward the bottom of the Republican field, registering at just 1% in the latest CNN/ORC poll. And in his own state his approval rating is at 32%, according to a recent poll.

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