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Bobby Jindal Pledges to ‘Rock the Boat’ in 2016 Presidential Announcement

Bobby Jindal Takes Shot at Jeb Bush During Announcement 2:33

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal officially jumped into the 2016 presidential race Wednesday, telling a crowd in his home state that he will "do the things that you cannot do in Washington."

"I am governor of the great state of Louisiana and I am running for president of the greatest country in the world, the United States of America," he said at a kickoff rally near New Orleans.

Jindal, 44, is the thirteenth announced GOP candidate for the nomination but faces an uphill battle against more popular and well-known contenders.

He argued that, unlike other "great talkers" running for president, he'll be unafraid to "rock the boat" when it comes to controversial policy reforms.

"We owe voters more just than a tirade about the problem," he said. "We owe them honesty about our solution. I will do the things that you cannot do in Washington, and I will say the things you cannot say."

In addition to numerous explicit criticisms of President Obama's "apprentice-in-waiting" Hillary Clinton, Jindal took a direct shot at a fellow GOP candidate, Jeb Bush.

"Republicans must stop being afraid to lose," he said. "If we try to hide who we are again, we will lose again. You've heard Jeb Bush say that we need to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general election. We're going to help him do that."

In his announcement speech, Jindal also pledged to secure the nation's borders, repeal Obamacare, shrink the federal government and boost the American military. And he emphasized his faith, saying that "Christianity is under assault today in America."

The Republican governor also made his presidential intentions known earlier Wednesday in a tweet that included a link to a new campaign website.

His new campaign site features videos of Jindal and his wife Supriya speaking to their three young children about their decision.

Jindal was first elected governor of Louisiana in 2007. The conservative Indian-American lawmaker is considered a longshot for the GOP nomination. In the latest NBC/WSJ poll, he received less than one percent support from Republican primary voters.

Once viewed as a rising star in the Republican party, he has recently struggled with low approval ratings in his home state amid budget problems.

In his speech, he defended his spending strategy. "The big government crowd, they hate what we have done. They say that we have cut the government more than anyone, that government budgets are always running low on funds with me in the governor's office."

"I am guilty as charged and our state is better off for it today," he added.

- NBC's Anthony Terrell contributed to this story.