Rove sees real potential in Jindal presidential bid

Political strategist Karl Rove said Tuesday afternoon that Gov. Bobby Jindal could be a viable White House contender.

“If he wants to be a candidate, he could be a really serious one. He’s done a lot of things here, particularly on education reform and government reform,” Rove said after speaking at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s annual meeting in Baton Rouge.

Rove, who served as President George W. Bush’s senior adviser for seven years, said he and Jindal have not spoken about the 2016 race.

More than three dozen legislators attended LABI’s annual meeting at the Crowne Plaza. Also in the audience was Jindal’s former chief of staff, Stephen Waguespack.

As keynote speaker, Rove focused on national issues, touching on the debt ceiling, the federal budget and President Barack Obama’s leadership.

“We had an election. It’s over. President Obama got re-elected much to my mixed feelings,” he said.

Rove said it is dysfunctional for the Obama administration to continue to operate without a blueprint.

His criticism centered on reliance over the past several years on “continuing resolutions” to essentially extend the previous year’s federal budget because of congressional gridlock.

Budgeting for two to three months at a time is no way to run a great enterprise, he said. He predicted an annual budget would fail to materialize this year, which marks Obama’s fifth year in office.

Rove said the president adopted a confrontational style. He said the economy’s shown a lackluster average annual growth rate during three years of a supposed economic recovery.

More people are on food stamps and the poverty rate’s gone up, Rove said.

“It ain’t a pretty picture. It’s just not. It can be, but it requires leadership,” he said.

Rove said the solution to the nation’s problems lies in a funny-shaped office, referring to the Oval Office. He said the nation also needs an adult in the White House.