Jindal addresses national GOP leaders

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Text of Gov. Bobby Jindal's speech to GOP leaders Jan. 24, 2013.

Gov. Bobby Jindal told national Republican leaders Thursday night that the party needs “to recalibrate the compass of conservatism.”

Jindal kicked off a four-day visit to the east coast by addressing the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in Charlotte, N.C.

The Governor’s Office released an embargoed copy of the speech late Thursday.

Jindal divided his speech into three sections, outlining how America is not the federal government, how Republicans can win their argument and how “the election” can be won.

“And now, after losing two presidential elections in a row, is certainly the time for some candid discussion,” he said.

From North Carolina, Jindal planned to travel to Washington, D.C., for the Alfalfa Club dinner and the National Review Institute summit. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also is expected to be in the nation’s capital for his first trip there since lunching with President Barack Obama after losing the election.

Jindal supported Romney’s bid for the White House. After the election, Jindal accused Romney of dividing American voters.

The Republican National Committee’s winter meeting gave GOP leaders the opportunity to regroup after the election loss.

Jindal followed up Obama’s re-election by becoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Speculation is rampant that he wants to blaze a path to the White House.

The governor said in his eight-page remarks Thursday that debating which party can better manage the federal government is small and shortsighted.

“At present we have one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can expand it, and one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can get it under control,” Jindal said.

He characterized debates over the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling and the vice president’s gun control task force as reality sideshows.

Shreveport got a shout-out from the governor as an example of a real economy that should be the focus instead of the phony economy of Washington.

Jindal blasted Obama for the national debt, accusing the president of not worrying in the least about the level.

“But we, as conservatives, must dedicate our energies and our efforts to growing America, to growing the American economy, to showing the younger generations how America can win the future,” he said.

The solution, Jindal said, is to grow the private sector — a philosophy he has embraced in Louisiana by hiring private businesses to handle state government tasks.

He said Democrats can sell the power of more federal programs, while Republicans promote the rejuvenating power of new businesses in the real world beyond the Washington beltway.

“The Republican Party must become the party of growth, the party of a prosperous future that is based in our economic growth and opportunity that is based in every community in this great country and that is not based in Washington, D.C.,” Jindal said.