“You mean I’m not white?” Jindal, who is Indian-American, said at a breakfast session organized by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington, D.C.
The portrait in question, which currently hangs in the capitol building in Baton Rouge, was tweeted by a liberal blogger in Louisiana last week. It went viral online, even though -– as Jindal’s chief of staff pointed out -– it’s not the governor’s “official” state portrait.
Jindal said today he doesn't recall even having met the artist: "The painting in question is owned by a constituent. It will go back to the constituent."
Jindal, who said he will make up his mind on running for president in 2016 “in the next few months,” also suggested that liberals were behind mockery of him and the portrait.
“I think this whole thing is silly. I think the left is obsessed with race,” he said. “I think the dumbest thing we can do is to try to divide people by the color of their skin. The left is devoid of ideas and this is unfortunately what they’re resorted to – name-calling…. This is nonsense. We’re all Americans.”
The governor said he didn't read the tweets written by Plotkin or others. But he did give reporters blanket permission to describe his ethnicity as they see fit.
"You're more than welcome to put in every article about me that I'm not white. It really doesn't bother me," he said.
Jindal said he looks forward to a campaign where Bush and others articulate their views on education for primary voters.
“If Republican voters want to vote for a candidate who supports common core, I suspect they’ll have that option, or several options,” Jindal said. “Do we trust bureaucrats, or do we trust parents? I trust parents.”