Party leaders spoke out on Friday to criticize Tory Leader Stephen Harper for using his second scrum so far of this election campaign to attack Liberal Leader Stephane Dion for looking confused when he struggled to understand a question in English by a TV interviewer.Via NorthReport in this babble thread. Kudos to Jack and Gilles for doing the right thing.
Mr. Harper and his campaign team seized on the interview, claiming it proves the Liberal Leader isn't up to coping with the country's economic problems.
During a radio interview in Montreal Friday, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe called Mr. Harper's comments a “low blow” that only serves to illustrate the “double standard” that endures when it comes to Canada's official languages.
Mr. Duceppe says Canadians demand that French political leaders speak English fluently, but that English-speaking leaders can get away with mangling French.But he acknowledged that Mr. Dion should have answered the question.
"Nowadays, there is more pressure on Francophones to speak English well than there is on Anglophones to speak French well. I think there is a double standard. That being said, I believe that yesterday he had understood the question correctly, that it wasn't a language issue but a content issue. He didn't know what to say. And that is a whole other problem," Mr. Duceppe said.
NDP Leader Jack Layton also took a moment during a rally in Toronto on Friday to defend Mr. Dion.
“I suppose if I were someone who could honestly say I have never had trouble with a question, I might be able to make some kind of remark about it,” said Mr. Layton.
“This has been a long campaign, people are tired and questions are coming at you…And you know, my problem with Mr. Dion is his platform and his record of propping up Mr. Harper. I've got a big problem with that. I don't have any problem with some question that he struggled with because I've struggled with questions.”
And as adma points out in that same thread, you know the Tories are in trouble when the Toronto Sun turns against them:
It's true Stephane Dion's repeated flubs of a relatively simple question from a CTV interviewer Thursday make him look silly. In the out-take now posted on YouTube the Liberal leader looks confused, almost dazed. He looks anything but prime ministerial.
But Stephen Harper? He looks worse.
Dion messed up in a taped interview. For this, the Conservative campaign machine went into overdrive? For this, the prime minister delayed his flight, held an extraordinary news conference, as his people bent over backwards to ensure that reporters would see the clip of funny Professor Dion making an ass of himself?
News flash to the country and the world: Dion's English is terrible!
Was anything else occurring in this country Thursday evening that might have occupied Harper's reputedly gi-normous tactical brain? Um ... let's see ... it'll come to us in a moment ... ah, yes. The global economy is collapsing. Banks around the world are petrified to lend money. Stock traders are in a blind panic. The entire world, to hear some financial experts tell it, is on the brink of another Great Depression.
But Harper's overriding goal Thursday evening was to heap mockery on his chief opponent's poor command of English. How tawdry, cheap and sad.