RICHMOND, Va. — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday he's not interested in a 2012 Republican presidential bid and will seek a second term as governor in 2011.
Jindal, who appeared at a news conference to back Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, was asked if he was interested in being president.
"No," he replied.
Jindal's trip to Iowa last month fueled speculation that he was laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign, and he did not rule out changing his mind over the next few years.
Instead, he said Americans are weary after the longest, most expensive election cycle in U.S. history.
"I think anybody who is even thinking of running would be well served to roll up their sleeves and support our new president," Jindal said. "I told our people, 'It doesn't matter whether you're Republican, Democrat or independent, it doesn't matter whether you voted for him or not, President-elect Barack Obama is our president.'"
In the wake of Republican losses in Congress and a blowout defeat in the presidential race, Jindal is an early favorite among many Republicans for 2012.
He's young, 37, and has strong support from conservatives for his income tax-cutting initiatives. Many of them advocated for John McCain to pick Jindal as his vice presidential running mate.
Jindal also enjoyed broad-based approval for his handling of back-to-back hurricanes, Gustav and Ike, that menaced his state and New Orleans in particular in August and September, just three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.
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