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And today’s award for War Room Desperation goes to …


 

The Just The Facts Gang in the Little Shop of Tories for this truly astounding example of out-of-context-quote-yoinkage:

WHAT ARE LIBERALS SAYING ABOUT DION’S LEADERSHIP?

More and more Liberals are openly starting to muse about Dion’s leadership.  In fact, even one of Stéphane Dion’s few original caucus supporters is now wondering out loud whether he regrets supporting him.

Charles Hubbard:  “I sometimes say in my mind ‘what if Bob Rae or Michael Ignatieff were leader?’” (New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, October 2, 2008)

The context:

Does [Hubbard] regret his early support for Dion?

“I don’t think so,” said the low-key Hubbard, a former high school principal. “I sometimes say in my mind ‘what if Bob Rae or Michael Ignatieff were leader?’

“But the Conservatives would have done the same thing.

“No matter who it was, they would have run comparable ads.”

And, lest ITQ be accused of doing the same thing, here’s the story in its entirety:

Miramichi Liberal takes to airwaves to defend Dion

Miramichi Liberal MP Charlie Hubbard has taken to running local radio ads imploring voters to get to know the Stéphane Dion he’s known for a decade.

Miramichi Liberal MP Charlie Hubbard has taken out radio spots to urge voters to support party leader Stéphane Dion. “I urge each of you to overcome the negative Conservative advertisements,” Hubbard says on radio. “Watch the debate.

“See the Stéphane Dion that I have worked with in Ottawa for the past decade.”

Hubbard feels a special loyalty to Dion – and a palpable frustration that his choice for leader is preferred as best party leader by roughly one in every six or seven voters.

Hubbard, first elected in 1993, was the only Liberal MP in Atlantic Canada to support Dion’s 2006 bid for the party leadership.

Well aware how Dion is perceived, Hubbard stands by his man and blames two years of negative advertising by the Conservatives, most of it portraying Dion as weak.

“I think the attack ads have been the most important element in this campaign,” said Hubbard.

“Those have had a great influence on people across the country.”

Other Conservative ads have focused on one half of Dion’s Green Shift – the tax increases on carbon sources, not the income tax breaks or other benefits on offer.

As a result, there’s “a great amount of concern about the carbon tax,” said Hubbard.

“We as a party maybe haven’t done a real good job of explaining it.”

As a party, he said, the Liberals have not done enough to persuade Canadians to question Harper’s regulations-based climate-change plan, which the Conservatives and government officials have conceded would also drive up fuel costs.

“We also haven’t been able to project how the carbon tax on oil and diesel isn’t going to hit all at once, it’ll be phased in over four years,” said Hubbard.

Does he regret his early support for Dion?

“I don’t think so,” said the low-key Hubbard, a former high school principal. “I sometimes say in my mind ‘what if Bob Rae or Michael Ignatieff were leader?’

“But the Conservatives would have done the same thing.

“No matter who it was, they would have run comparable ads.”

Hubbard declared his backing for Dion in September 2006, three months before Dion – who got only 18 per cent on the first ballot – was the last man standing at the Montreal Liberal leadership convention.

The only other prominent New Brunswick Liberals to declare for Dion were former regional minister and Moncton-area MP Claudette Bradshaw and senator John Bryden.

Hubbard was attracted by Dion’s combination of experience in cabinet, the courage and intelligence he showed in creating the Clarity Act to challenge Quebec separatists and his work as environment minister.

“He had a background of considerable success,” said Hubbard.

Dion’s awkwardness in English has also generated criticism – for which Hubbard does not blame the Conservatives.

“I’m surprised that’s become an issue,” said Hubbard.

“I think it berates our generosity to nail a guy because of his second-language skills – they will improve over time.”

After months of air time and millions of dollars spent intoning “Stéphane Dion – not a leader, not worth the risk,” the Conservative ads have become ingrained in people’s minds.

Hubbard has come up with his own smaller-scale analogy as to why they’ve worked.

“I said to one local businessman, ‘how much money would I have to spend advertising that you run a bad business before it would have a devastating effect?'”

Now, with the English-language debate set for nine o’clock tonight, Hubbard is counting on two hours of television to shape a new, favourable impression of Dion.

“All I would hope for is that many Canadians will watch and they would compare what the Conservatives have said about him to what he really is.

“Now, maybe he’ll do a terrible job – but I don’t think he will.

“And even if he did, at least it would be Stéphane himself, and not the Stéphane Dion the Conservative party has presented to Canadians.”


 

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