BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Republican presidential contender Bobby Jindal threw the book of insults at Donald Trump on Thursday, even calling him a “madman.”
More specifically, he called the GOP front-runner an “egomaniacal madman who has no principles” and who risks costing the party its chance to regain the White House.
The Louisiana governor’s words in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington were unsparing, even from a candidate who’s held little back when it comes to Trump.
Jindal said: “The silly summer season is over. It’s time to get serious about saving our country. It’s time to send Donald Trump back to reality TV.”
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He called him a narcissist and “carnival act,” and said other GOP candidates “kissing up” to Trump are making a mistake.
Most have challenged Trump to varying degrees, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz a notable exception. He invited the billionaire to a rally Wednesday held to protest the nuclear deal with Iran, and Trump described their relationship as “a little bit of a romance. I like him. He likes me.”
Count Jindal out of that.
“Donald Trump is shallow,” he said in a speech streamed online. “He has no understanding of policy. He is full of bluster. He has no substance. He lacks the intellectual curiosity to even learn. You can’t argue policy with this guy. The only thing that Donald Trump believes in is himself.”
Jindal said he likes the idea of an outsider who says things other candidates are afraid to say, and he applauded Trump for performing an “important service” by highlighting the dysfunction of Washington and its political insiders. That praise didn’t go far.
“I think the Donald Trump show has been entertaining,” Jindal said. “But just because a lot of people like watching Kim Kardashian, we wouldn’t put her in the White House, either.”
Like some others in the sprawling 17-candidate pack, Jindal has been struggling to gain traction in the race. He said he was speaking out for the good of his party, not for his own ambitions. Trump spoke dismissively of Jindal after an earlier round of jabs, saying he’s nowhere in the polls.
If Trump were to win the nomination, Jindal said, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton would probably be elected president.
And if Trump became president, “we have no idea what he would do. We have no idea what he believes.”
“Give him another TV show, but don’t put him in the White House.”