Is Gov. Bobby Jindal positioning himself as the vice presidential candidate on the 2012 Republican ticket? Hard to say — but worth the speculation. His endorsement Monday afternoon of Texas Gov. Rick Perry for the GOP presidential nomination is fueling speculation. In fact, Jindal was reportedly Perry’s guest at the TEA Party/CNN Republican debate Monday night in Tampa, Fla.
As Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza put it — somewhat inaccurately in their reference to Jindal having no Democratic opponent in the October election; he actually has four, although none is considered a threat — in The Washington Post’s politics blog, The Fix:
Jindal is known as one of the bright young stars in the Republican Party. Despite a rocky response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech in 2009, the nation’s first Indian-American governor still commands the respect of many at the highest levels of the GOP and could be considered a vice presidential pick in 2012.
At the same time, he is currently running for reelection — a 2011 race in which he currently faces no Democratic opponent — and would be less than a year into his second term when the Republican nominee picks a running mate.
Earlier this year, in an interview with The Fix, Jindal called such speculation “obnoxious,” but didn’t rule out being someone’s running mate.
According to the Daily Caller website, Jindal maintains he will not be the VP candidate in 2012.
Jindal’s is the second major endorsement in the GOP field for a candidate to take on President Obama next fall; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the race last month, has thrown his support behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Perry, meanwhile, was assailed by several of his Republican opponents Monday night, Romney in particular, for his recent book in which he characterizes Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.
Read more on the debate here.