MELINDA DESLATTE, Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday he’s not giving up on Rick Perry as a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, despite the Texas governor’s poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.

Jindal said he still believes in Perry’s viability and stands by his endorsement.

“I’m not a fair-weather friend. It doesn’t matter to me where he is in the polls,” the Louisiana Republican told reporters.

He added, “Every week it seems like there’s somebody else in first place or last place. I mean this is probably one of the most unpredictable nominating processes I’ve ever seen.”

Jindal campaigned with Perry in the final days before the Iowa caucus voting, the first ballots cast of the 2012 presidential race. Perry came in fifth, with 10 percent of the vote. But after saying Tuesday night he was reassessing his campaign, he said Wednesday that he wasn’t ending his bid to be the Republican nominee to challenge President Barack Obama.

Perry picked up Jindal’s support in September, when the Texas governor was considered a leading candidate to be the GOP nominee. Jindal campaigned in Iowa with Perry last month and this week and helped him raise campaign cash in Texas.

Jindal praised Perry’s economic development and job creation record in neighboring Texas, his support for shrinking the size of the federal government and his help for Louisiana during several natural disasters.

Despite his poor finish in Iowa, Perry vowed Wednesday to continue his bid for the White House, looking toward South Carolina’s primary on Jan. 21. Jindal said he hadn’t spoken to Perry since the Iowa results.

“He doesn’t need advice from me in terms of how to run his campaign. He’s got a lot of folks around him counseling him what to do. I’m just proud to call him a friend. I’m proud to support him,” Jindal said. “I continue to be willing to help him in any way that I can.”

The next ballots will be cast by New Hampshire voters in a primary next week. Louisiana’s primary is scheduled for March, but the race could largely be decided by then. The Republican National Convention is scheduled for August in Tampa, Fla.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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