Gov. Bobby Jindal suspends presidential campaign

Gov. Bobby Jindal suspends presidential campaign

(RNN) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal dropped out of the presidential race on Fox News on Tuesday.

"I've come to the realization that this is not my time," he told Fox News' Bret Baier.

The Louisiana governor was polling in the low single digits, and had not made the main stage for any of the four Republican debates.

Jindal had struggled to be visible in the crowded presidential field, even though he made national news recently by saying Louisiana would not accept more Syrian refugees.

Jindal has rebounded strongly from what was widely considered an unimpressive – and possibly embarrassing – selection to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress in 2009.

Jindal helped presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney respond to an attack ad Obama released against the presumptive Republican presidential candidate. The ad released this past weekend alleges company outsourcing during Romney's tenure at Bain Capital and his private accounts in international banks.

While introducing Romney at a fundraiser Monday, Jindal called Obama's campaign "increasingly desperate" and said he was the "most liberal and incompetent president since Jimmy Carter."

Jindal's selection as a running mate would give Romney a strong ally in the effort to repeal all or parts of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, recently upheld by the Supreme Court. He is one of many Republican governors that have thus far refused to implement state mandates that are part of Obama's healthcare law.

Jindal was appointed as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals in 1996 at age 24 and turned the state's $400 million healthcare deficit into a surplus of more than $200 million. The department improved from 37th to third nationally in healthcare screenings for children, improved programs for elderly and disabled people and lowered Medicaid spending three years in a row.

Jindal also served as executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, an agency that worked to provide recommendations for improvement of the national Medicare system.

Jindal, a Louisiana native, won Louisiana's gubernatorial election in October 2007 and almost immediately began ethics reform in the state when he was sworn into office three months later.

He was the first Indian-American in history elected governor of any U.S. state.

Jindal released his birth certificate last year once his name was thrown into the mix of potential Republican nominees for presidents, admittedly as a proactive measure for any potential "birther" controversies.

Born Piyush Jindal in Baton Rouge on June 10, 1971, his parents arrived in Baton Rouge while his mother, Raj, was almost five months pregnant with him. She accepted an offer from LSU to complete a graduate program in nuclear physics. Jindal's father, Amar, worked as an engineer in India and the U.S.

Jindal's parents are Hindu, but he professed his faith in Christianity as a teenager and converted to Roman Catholicism while a student at Brown University.

Prior to his election as governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal spent two terms representing the First District of Louisiana in the U.S. Congress (2004-07) and served as George W. Bush's secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2001-03).

Jindal also served as president of the University of Louisiana system and worked as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies.

Jindal and his wife, Supriya, have three children ages 10, 8 and 5. Supriya Jindal is the youngest governor's wife in the country and the only one that holds a degree in engineering, according to the website for the Louisiana governor's office.

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Jindal posted the following to his Facebook page:

I cannot tell you what an honor it has been to run for President of the United States of America. My parents came to this country 45 years ago searching for freedom and a chance.

When I was born, we lived in student housing at LSU, and never in their wildest dreams did they think their son would have the opportunity to serve as Governor of Louisiana or to run for President.

They raised me to believe Americans can do anything, and they were right, we can. But this is not my time, so I am suspending my campaign for President.

Going forward, I believe we have to be the party of growth and we can never stop being the party that believes in opportunity. We cannot settle for The Left's view of envy and division. We have to be the party that says everyone in this country - no matter the circumstances of their birth or who their parents are – can succeed in America.

One of the things I will do is go back to work at the think tank I started a few years ago - where I will be outlining a blueprint for making this the American century.

We must show the way forward on growing our economy and winning the war against terror, and especially defeating radical Islam.

I realize that our country is off on the wrong track right now. Everyone knows that, but don't forget, this is still the greatest country in the history of the world – and every single one of us should start every day by thanking God that we are fortunate enough to be US citizens.

Now is the time for all those Americans who still believe in freedom and American exceptionalism to stand up and defend it. The idea of America – the idea that my parents came here for almost a half a century ago - that idea is slipping away from us. Freedom is under assault from both outside our borders and from within. We must act now, we do not have a moment to spare.