Letter obtained by BuzzFeed News presents the Louisiana governor to Republican donor class as a “once-in-a-lifetime leader.” No mention of his recent criticism of Islam, though.
The coalition of allies and boosters who recently launched a super PAC to get Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal elected president is making its first major pitch to Republican donors, according to a letter obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The mission: Convince the GOP’s big-ticket contributors that Jindal will be more than the single-digit also-ran that early 2016 primary polls make him out to be.
The recently formed “Believe Again” PAC began sending letters out to conservative donors on Wednesday touting Jindal as a “once-in-a-lifetime leader.” Signed by former Louisiana congressman and PAC chairman Bob Livingston, the one-page letter argues that Jindal is “the rare person who has proven he can take big ideas and turn them into lasting change.”
Among Jindal’s accomplishments listed in the letter are the ethics reforms and tax cuts he has helped pass as governor, along with his controversial battle with the Department of Justice over the education overhauls he implemented in Louisiana.
“But the best way to convey his success is to tell you about the result,” Livingston writes. “For the first time in generations, more people are moving to Louisiana than leaving it. Our economy is not just growing, it’s thriving.”
Absent from the letter is any mention of the various culture war fights Jindal has been picking in recent months — from his high-profile championing of the Duck Dynasty family a year ago to his recent criticism of Islam. As BuzzFeed News reported last year, Jindal has been methodically building a network of grassroots contacts on the religious right, speaking frequently on issues of religious freedom, and privately counseling with the conservative Christian power broker Tony Perkins.
Jindal’s inner circle believes his compelling conversion story and marrow-deep Christian devotion — he calls himself an “Evangelical Catholic” — will help him appeal to the religious conservatives in Iowa, among other places. Just last weekend, Jindal hosted a widely publicized prayer rally in Baton Rouge.
But the Republican donor class generally skews more secular and tends to pick its horses based on successes in the economic arena, not social conservative bona fides. Jindal, like many of his prospective 2016 primary opponents, will thus likely spend much of the primary dual-broadcasting messages to the conservative base and the GOP elites.