"It’s pretty easy to be a ‘smart’ conservative... All you have to do is criticize your own party."

“There’s this tendency amongst even conservative elites to back away from our principles,” Jindal told POLITICO at the offices of the Republican Governors Association. “We need to be unafraid…We don’t need to apologize for our beliefs.”…

Asked about criticism from commentators, Jindal said: “Too many conservatives come to this town, and they want to be liked by The New York Times. It’s pretty easy to be a ‘smart’ conservative…All you have to do is criticize your own party… All of a sudden you’re a genius. They say, ‘He must be a really smart guy. We need to book him on our shows. We need to write good editorials about him.’ It’s not hard to do that.”…

This is a point that clearly exasperates and occupies significant mindshare within Jindal’s camp. Smart people in Washington assume that an Ivy League alum and Rhodes Scholar must be pandering when he takes positions at odds with GOP elites, including advocating for a constitutional amendment to let states ban gay marriage, says longtime Jindal strategist Curt Anderson.

“The option that the chattering class refuses to consider is that he’s right,” said Anderson. “The elites can simply not accept or even consider the notion that a smart person would not agree with them or would see the world differently.”