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Jindal greets small crowd of Romney supporters at Dan’s Maid-Rite in Newton

Mike Mendnehall, Newton Daily News, Iowa –

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had to order his Maid-Rite sandwiches to go during a stop at the iconic Newton diner Thursday. But he did take the time to briefly discuss President Obama’s economic policies during the visit meant to bolster local support for Presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney.

“What’s at stake, I believe, in this election is the ability of our children to pursue the American dream,” Jindal said. “I think the president is a very nice man, but his policies simply haven’t worked for our country.”

At the 4:30 p.m. event, Jindal addressed approximately 25 people in the small loose-meat sandwich shop, avoiding personal attacks on the president and sticking to policy issues.

Jindal cited Obama’s record on the economy, specifically targeting the unemployment rate citing 48 straight months of the jobless rate hovering above 8 percent. The governor also criticized the president on increasing the budget deficit and national debt and increasing taxes.

The Obama administration has publicly refuted Republican claims that income taxes have increased during the president’s term.

Iowa House Rep. Dan Kelley, D-Newton, responded to Jindal’s remarks Thursday afternoon, touting small business tax credits passed during Obama’s tenure as a gauge of the president’s economic record.

“My business and others in Newton are proof the President is right,” Kelley said in an emailed statement. “I own two small businesses in Newton. My town has gone through difficult economic times when Maytag left town, putting a strain on small business owners. While it was difficult, we worked together as a community to help our small businesses continue to grow.”

comments are just a distraction from the fact he has given voters little detail of what he would do as president to support small businesses. President Obama on the other hand has passed 18 tax credits for small businesses and made it easier for businesses to access credit. The choice for small businesses couldn’t be clearer.”

Newton was one of three stops for the Republican governor Thursday, also hosting a joint rally in Coralville earlier in the day with Virgina Governor Bob McDonnell and appearing at a rally in Des Moines Thursday night. This is the first Newton visit by a high-profile Romney surrogate since the beginning of the 2012 Iowa Caucus season.

Jindal is on the radar of national pundits and political annalists as a potential vice presidential pick for Romney. The governor has been a watched figure in the Republican Party since taking Louisiana’s governorship in 2008. He was the party’s pick to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s first address to a joint session of Congress in 2009.

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