WASHINGTON: Indian-American Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal, whose name is often floated as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney, has defended the Republican White House hopeful against attacks over his offshore investments.
"Look, I'm happy he's a successful businessman. We've got a president today who's never run a business, never run anything including a lemonade stand before he was president of the United States," Jindal told ABC's 'This Week'.
His comments came after a week full of Democratic-led dig at Romney for placing his money overseas in so-called tax havens -- Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.
Democratic Party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Robert Gibbs, a top campaign adviser to Obama, took to the Sunday talk-shows to go after reports of the former Massachusetts governor's offshore holdings - a part of a larger effort to paint him as an out-of-touch, wealthy businessman.
Pressed on whether or not Romney's finances should be an influential factor in this election, Jindal described the attacks as "distractions" but said voters will likely remember them as they head to the polls.
"I think voters will consider all of the distractions thrown out by the Obama campaign," Jindal said.
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign immediately seized on Jindal's comments, saying that the Governor of Louisiana declined to directly address questions about Romney's overseas investments and he "can't explain away" the candidate's accounts.
Much of Romney's fortune lies well hidden in a network of opaque offshore investments including some USD 30 million in the Cayman Islands, according to a Vanity Fair report released last week.
The Republican presidential candidate also holds a Swiss bank account -- with USD 3 million in it, according to 2010 tax returns -- and other interests in tax havens such as Bermuda, Vanity Fair reported in its August issue.