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Jindal fuels speculation again about his future plans

NEW ORLEANS - Gov. Bobby Jindal's latest move on the national scene has revved up speculation that he may be seriously considering a run for president.

Jindal has formed a conservative non-profit organization called America Next to develop policy ideas to help his political party get better at "winning the war of ideas."

"That seems to be the conventional wisdom among people who pay attention to politics is that he has his eye on the presidency and will throw his hat in the ring in 2016," said UNO Political Scientist Ed Chervenak.

Jindal was recently asked by a CNN host if he had White House aspirations.

"For me, as I think about that it would have to be, do I think I can make a difference? Do I think I've got something to offer that's not there? Do I think that there's a way that I can help improve and help lead the country and that's not being offered by a candidate that's in the race," Jindal said.

On the America Next website, Jindal wrote in the mission statement that: "We've said what we are against. But shame on us if we don't put pen to paper and begin selling the American public on a new policy direction for this country."

Jindal said on the website that the organization will not focus on elections. "No, winning the war of ideas, that is what America Next intends to do," he wrote.

"His stance is that, for the most part, Republicans have been the party of no, and that you have to do more than say no," said Chervenak. "You have to offer some sort of policy to voters, give them a reason to vote for you."

In response to Jindal's non-profit announcement, the Louisiana Republican Party issued a statement applauding the move.

"We are proud that our Governor is committed to winning the battle of ideas across the country. Governor Jindal's record of accomplishment in Louisiana shows definitively that conservative policies offer a better future for all," said Jason Dore', the party's executive director.

However, Chervenak said the national GOP needs to become a "bigger tent" party.

"The party is in need of expansion," he said. "Obviously, the demographics of the country are changing, and as those demographics change, they're changing in a direction against the Republican party."

And while the speculation continues to build, Chervenak believes Jindal would face a tough climb should he decide to run for president in 2016.

"If you look at all of the polls that kind of rank all the prospective Republican candidates, he tends to fall on the lower end of the spectrum," Chervenak said.

Chervenak said it's possible that Jindal created America Next because he has something else in mind for the future. He said Jindal could be positioning himself to head a think-tank once he leaves the Louisiana governorship.

Our emails requesting comment from the governor's office were not answered.

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