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This is the greatest attack of the 2016 campaign so far

The only two presidential candidates who matter.
The only two presidential candidates who matter.
Win McNamee and Scott Olson / Getty Images

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is not winning the GOP presidential primary at the moment. Jindal, who's expected to announce his bid on June 24, is currently garnering 1 percent of the vote in Iowa polls, making him 14th out of 14 candidates. He's doing a bit better in New Hampshire, with 1.5 percent and 12th place out of 14. RealClearPolitics doesn't even include him in its national poll roundup. Similarly, former Rhode Island Governor and Senator Lincoln Chafee is not winning the Democratic presidential primary. He's in last place or tied for last nationally (1.6 percent), in New Hampshire (1.3 percent), and Iowa (a brutal 0.8 percent).

So it's pretty awesome that the Jindal campaign is already previewing its general election attacks on Chafee. Politico's Adam Lerner reports that Jindal's people are already condemning Chafee's suggestion that the US adopt the metric system as un-American:

At the very least, support for metrication provides a point of contrast with his Democratic rivals. The Clinton, Sanders, and O’Malley campaigns all did not respond to a request for comment on the issue (though O’Malley reportedly told the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson that he’s "not passionate about the metric system" when cornered on an Amtrak train).

But Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has already incorporated it into an attack. In an email to POLITICO, his spokesman Michael Reed said Chafee is a "Typical Democrat — wants to make America more European. Governor Jindal would rather make the world more American."

I genuinely have no idea what it means to "make the world more American," though apparently it has something to do with spreading the English system of measurements. Chafee has the better of this argument on the merits. As Susannah Locke explains, the vast majority of the world uses metric, and the existence of two systems is a hindrance for international cooperation, especially on science and medicine. A $125 million Mars orbiter was lost because of a failure to convert from English to metric.

But I have to admire how on-message Jindal's spokesman Michael Reed was, however wrong the position he's defending is. Jindal's done a bit of more serious fearmongering about Europe in the past. In January, he helped spread the myth that there are Muslim-only "no-go zones" in European cities. It's impressively on-message to continue the Europe-bashing theme on units of measure as well.


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