Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday October 17, 2019
Barack Obama tweets endorsement of Justin Trudeau
Former president Barack Obama has tweeted an endorsement of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and says he hopes Canadians give Trudeau “another term” in office.
“I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President,” Obama wrote on Wednesday afternoon. “He’s a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change. The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north support him for another term.”
The endorsement of a former American president is a rare — and possibly unprecedented — event in Canadian politics. But this is the second time Obama has spoken up to endorse an international leader since he left office. In May of 2017, Obama recorded a video in which he endorsed Emmanuel Macron for the French presidency.
I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President. He’s a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change. The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north support him for another term.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 16, 2019
While it remains to be seen what impact, if any, Obama’s endorsement might have on the Canadian electorate, the Liberal party has already touted his tweet to supporters in a fundraising appeal that was sent out on Wednesday afternoon.
At a campaign stop in Quebec Wednesday, Trudeau didn’t answer a question about whether he or his team sought out the endorsement, saying only, “I appreciate the kind words and I’m working hard to keep our progress going.”
Asked about the Obama tweet as he campaigned in Montreal, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he had a lot of respect for Obama but said “in this respect he’s wrong.”
“Mr. Trudeau has really let down people and consistently chosen to help out the powerful and the wealthy over Canadians,” Singh said, replying “no” when asked whether he thought Obama’s move would hurt the NDP campaign.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was also asked about the endorsement during a campaign stop in Ancaster, Ont.
“I’ve got millions of Canadians like the ones here tonight behind me. I’m not very interested in what former foreign leaders are saying,” Scheer said. “I’m just focused on finishing this election strong and putting together and putting forward my plan to help Canadians get ahead.”
Asked whether he thought Obama’s tweet was appropriate, he said “I’ll let Canadians be the judge of that,” adding he wouldn’t speculate on why Obama made the endorsement. (CBC News)