Politics & Policy

Bobby Jindal Tilts at Trump

Rattling off a Trumpian quantity of insults, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal became the latest Republican presidential hopeful to take a swing at Donald Trump Thursday.

Like Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, and Rand Paul before him, Jindal launched the opening salvo against the billionaire GOP front-runner. But unlike the attacks that have come before, Jindal’s attack on Trump was delivered in Trumpian style: he made fun of Trump, called him names, and all-but-laughed at him in a performance reminiscent of the way Trump himself has mocked the rest of the GOP field.

“Narcissist,” “egomaniac,” “absurd,” “a carnival act,” “insecure,” “weak,” “dangerous,” “unstable,” “unserious,” “shallow,” “hothead,” “small,” “substance-free,” “power-hungry shark,” “egomaniacal madman”: Those were just a few of the names Jindal called Trump in his 10 minute speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. today.

“I want to say what everyone is thinking about Donald Trump but afraid to say,” Jindal said. “Everybody knows this is true.”

Other GOP candidates who have attacked Trump tried to take him down on substance. But Jindal said there was simply no substance on which to attack him.

“You can’t argue policy with this guy. . . . He has no idea what he’s talking about, he makes it up on the fly,” Jindal said.

#share#Bracketing the speech, the Jindal campaign released two videos mocking Trump. The first video, released Wednesday, spliced footage of Trump together with footage of Charlie Sheen saying “winning!” After the speech this morning, Jindal’s campaign put up another video, splicing together all the times Trump has declared he “loves” something or someone, ending it with the “I love lamp” clip from Anchorman.

Other candidates have tried and failed to paint Trump as an unserious candidate unworthy of public attention and his place in the polls. But Trump has completely upended the conventional wisdom of politics, and traditional political attacks on him have been unsuccessful. Perry, Graham, and Paul remain near the bottom of the polls. Jindal is trying to turn Trump’s own playbook against him.

Jindal even co-opted Trump’s slogan.

#related#“I’m for making America great again. . . . Donald Trump’s for making Donald Trump great,” Jindal said.

“Donald Trump could destroy America’s chance to be great again,” he added.

Trump has not responded to the attack, on Twitter or otherwise.

Jindal will not get a chance to blast Trump to his face. Though the Louisiana governor’s fortunes have started to climb in Iowa, where he has devoted most of his time campaigning, he registers around one percent in recent national polls, ensuring he will not be on the main debate stage with Trump next week.

— Alexis Levinson is the senior political reporter for National Review.

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