I’m Stephen Harper and I approved this message

The PM on his party’s attack ads


 

The Prime Minister tries to explain his party’s attack ads.

Q: But let me ask you this, how closely do those ads and the messages in those ads reflect your own personal view of Michael Ignatieff and his motives?

A: Well as you know that campaign, the source of that campaign is strictly Mr. Ignatieff’s own words and own record so he’s the one who has to answer questions on that.

Q: But do you think he’s just visiting?

A: As I say those ads are built around his own record, his own words, on his own motives, and his own statements on the country and those are the questions he’ll have to answer.

Q: But do the ads reflect your view as the leader of the party?

A: As I say the ads allow Mr. Ignatieff to speak for himself.

Q: Well let me ask you this then do you really think that a long absence from the country would in any sense disqualify a Canadian citizen from high office?

A: Well this is um, this is an, these are questions that Mr. Ignatieff will have to address in an election campaign. As you know the government, the people of Canada gave our government a strengthened position in parliament fairly recently. So I would encourage the opposition parties to work with the government in the best interests of the country.

Q: But do you think that he is in any sense disqualified from aspiring to be prime minister because he’s been out of the country?

A: Every, every, every, obviously every Canadian citizen’s eligible to run for office. But obviously our records, motives, statements, all these things will be under scrutiny, they always are, of all party leaders in an election campaign.

Video of the Prime Minister’s complete interview with CTV Atlantic is here.


 

I’m Stephen Harper and I approved this message

  1. You know, these actionplan.gc.ca ads are probably more annoying than the Iggy ads. Even more so because taxpayers are paying for them.

    • We're paying for the attack ads too, since most donations to the Conservative Party are then returned to donors in the form of tax credits.

      • All parties do attack ads Dude. Did you just wash up on our shores?

        • Jarrid is just visiting this messageboard! He's only in it for himself! AND I HEAR HE LIKE CAPPUCCINOS!!!

        • Show me the attack ads Jarhead. There is only one party that is relying upon them now. Go ahead – quote 'guns in the streets'. You know and i know that it was an insipid ad that ran just once and was pulled. And its mere running once helped punt Paul Martin and the idiots who conceived the ad. You're lying again as usual.

          • Attack ads work.
            So sadly the Liberals have no choice but to join in or it's down the Dion road again. However, I think, if the Liberals unleashed a real tough anti Harper attack campaign hitting all of his past quotes that were less than honest, it could shake him up a bit and force a mistake.
            Perhaps, a full scale attack by the Libs in the 'not a leader' 'just visiting' style could lead to a standoff, sort of like nuclear deterents.

          • The Liberals are the acknowleged masters of negative campaigning. Their vicious ads on Preston Manning, Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper are legendary. Having become Prime Minister, Harper has shown how utterly baseless those Liberals ads were.

          • We'll decide whether they are baseless if he ever gets a majority. Meanwhile, 'just visiting' is based on what?

          • Well I think it's more than fair comment to question a guy's commitment who's spent the large majority of this adult life outside of the country and who took an active interest in the affairs of state of other nations, showed little, if any interest for Canada during that time, and only decided to come back when Liberal backroom boys planted the seed in his head when they went on a pilgrammage to Cambride, Mass. to see Iggy.

          • I sure wouldn't want a Harvard Prof, and academic author, who takes an active interest in the affairs of state of other nations as my PM.

  2. wow. Wonder how proud they are of the ads tonight?
    '
    That sound you just heard was a chair being kicked. Harper may have approved them but he never thought he would have to answer to them face to face. Didn't I read Baby Sparrow championing these ads today?

  3. I'm pretty sure I'll develop some sort of need for anger management counselling if Rodney Macdonald is given a seat in the Senate. Simply ridiculous.

  4. I love how as I'm watching the interview with the PM on ctv.ca and listening to him say "It's my understanding that [the 'Just VIsiting'] campaign is over for now," one of the ads appears on my television. On which channel? CTV Atlantic.

  5. We all know that the Liberal Party would never do attack ads.

    Warren Kinsella, hand picked by Michael Ignatieff to run the Liberal war room next election campaign, has apparently turned a new leaf.

    • Dude, this is the seventh time you have used the phrases "Warren Kinsella" and "hand-picked" in the same comment.

      • Sorry Jack, I guess I use it as often as the times Aaron gets all apocalyptic about Conservative attack ads. Either attack ads are wrong and shouldn't be used or they're part of the political landscape. If the latter, the media should stop acting so scandalized about them, especially, when, as in Aaron's case, the "outrage" is selective. Aaron's only concerned about Conservative attack ads.

        When the Liberals went after Day, Manning and Harper with vicious attack ads and innuendo, which were way more in the nature of character assassination than the mild "iggy's just visiting" ads, the media said nothing, and in fact piled on. Our own Paul Wells for instance said of Kinsella's attack on Stockwell Day that "… the transformation of Mr. Day from Stock to Laughingstock was complete." A clever line from Paul, who's nothing if not clever, but indicative of the media attitude to the Liberal negative campaigning at that time.

      • Apparently we're supposed to be impressed by the ritual chanting of Kinsella's name.

        "Brian ! Brian ! "

    • Yes, the potential for what Kinsella might do is good enough for me.

      For the record, I don't like attack ads, but I don't get bent out of shape about them. That said, at some point will the Cons find a better way to defend their actions than pointing fingers at the LIbs? I don't even let my kids get away with that kind of sh*t.

      • I enjoy pointing out the selective outrage coming from the Liberal partisans and left/lib media types. When the Conservatives do it, it's bad. When the Liberals or the NDP do it, it's all fine and dandy. It's called hypocrisy. It's disingenuous, and it lacks credibility.

        If you want to be credible folks, you gotta be consistent.

        • But the Liberals are not currently doing it. I, for one, who am probably a left/lib type in your books, registered my distaste, or rather my amazement, at the NDP's French-language ad in the last campaign, to take one example. Your defense of the Tory ad campaign doesn't leave any room for people like me who wish that this sort of organised lying (by whomever) would cease to exist.

          • Like you, my preference is for positive campaigning, give people a reason to vote for you sort of thing. Kinsella however does make a case for negative campaigning in his book, and says it's been around for decades if not longer.

            I remember the outageous things the Liberals said and did to Day, Manning and Harper. I also saw the media at the time not only not condemn it Jack, but actually pile on and run with it. Honestly Jack, I don't think the Conservatives have any choice but to fight fire with fire especially with the current left/lib media establishment that has a stranglehold on messaging in this country.

          • As I said before, I don't much like the negative ads, but in terms of a wonderful snapshot of both media and candidate mudslinging from long ago, I'd recommend Sir Francis' (Dred Tory) latest offering, for those who haven't seen it:

            http://dredtory.blogspot.com/2009/06/when-hacks-a

          • As I said before, I don't much like the negative ads, but in terms of a wonderful snapshot of both media and candidate mudslinging from long ago, I'd recommend Sir Francis' (Dred Tory) latest offering, for those who haven't seen it:

            http://dredtory.blogspot.com/2009/06/when-hacks-a

          • As I said before, I don't much like the negative ads, but in terms of a wonderful snapshot of both media and candidate mudslinging from long ago, I'd recommend Sir Francis' (Dred Tory) latest offering, for those who haven't seen it:

            http://dredtory.blogspot.com/2009/06/when-hacks-a

          • Particularly brilliant post of Sir Francis', and excellent discussion in the comments.

          • Wow ! Thanks for the link—now I`m no Chomyskite but you have to marvel at the brainpower in that room with Steyn, Levant, and Harper all together.

          • Obviously you're not. But if you were then maybe you could spell it.

            And you'd need a much,much bigger room.

          • I`m just having a little fun with you pretentious wordbags to see who would be my spellchek.

          • God is your spellchek, boychick.

          • God is your spellchek, boychik.

      • "Yes, the potential for what Kinsella might do is good enough for me."

        I think when it comes to attack ads, Kinsella has, what ones calls in the industry – a proven track record.

        All I'm saying is that Liberal partisans and their media cheerleaders can't condemn Conservatives for running attack ads on one hand, and on the other hand hire the maestro of attack ads to run their campaign and not expect people to think we're dealing with a serious case of hypocrisy.

        • People please – can't we all agree with Jarrid's point: that when Conservatives run attack ads, that is the moral equivalent of the Liberals hiring someone who (in the past) has run attack ads?

          They're *exactly the same thing*!!! Jarrid's logic is as unassailable as ever.

          • The Liberals aren't running negative attack ads this very moment, we Liberals are at this particular moment lily-white, pure as snow and without money to run attack ads so at this moment it's outrageous what the Conservatives are doing.

            What hair-splitting partisan blindness. Get a grip TJ.

          • "…without money…"

            Please Jarrid – you know the Liberal fund raising machine is back – more has been raised in the first 6 months of this year than all of last.

            There will be ads and you will be able to say "I told you so" and all those who oppose you will recall your comment a few above about "fighting fire with fire" and the circle will continue.

            Also – create an account already! At the very least it will allow you to prove your point about the bias on this here blogroll when you can track your thumbs down ;)

          • Just so we're clear what's happening here: the Conservatives are ACTUALLY running their SECOND massive campaign of attack ads against a Liberal leader.

            The Libs aren't running any ads at all, but have apparently hired someone who was apparently associated with attack ads in the past.

            And every time the topic of Conservative attack ads show up here, Jarrid pops up to yell "Warren Kinsella! Booga booga!" and claim that the Liberals are just as bad in the attack ads that Jarrid predicts will happen.

            Yup, I'm the one suffering from "hair-splitting partisan blindness." My total bad Jarrid, you've made a devastating case from your non-partisan, reality-based point of view. Well done.

          • The Liberals did the same thing the Conservatives are doing when they went after Day, Manning and Harper. That makes THREE massive campaign ads against small-c conservative leaders by the Liberals. I guess one more such Conservative campaign and we'll call it square TJ.

            Is it just me, or do I sense a particular feistiness from Liberal partisan commenters since Iggy called everyone down to the O.K. corral recently and then failed to show up.

          • Political adverts during a campaign, attack adverts or no, make sense.
            Campaign ads when the government is supposed to be.. well.. governing? That still strikes me as an entirely different kettle of fish.

          • Political ads outside the writ also make sense if you want to keep your opponents numbers down. That reduces the threat of them bringing down the government and allows the government more time to govern.

          • Actually that's an excellent point. The Liberals have been in election mode since 6 weeks after the last election when they tried to take over the government with their Coalition with the NDP and the separatists. In this context we're in a perpetual pre-election cycle.

          • The Block as "separatists"? You're a beacon neutrality Jarrid. <- That's actually a disingenuous sentence.

          • The Bloc Quebecois is a separatist party, it's their raison d'etre and set out in black and white in the Party's constitution. Or is there some more politically correct term you suggest I use here? They want to break up Canada, can we agree on that?

          • Well for one it's sovereignists, not separatists. There is a difference in connotations and meaning so don't give me the "same difference" argument.

            Second, I'd like to know on which separatist agenda they would be voting for since they're obviously not in a position to actually make demands?

          • 1. "Well for one it's sovereignists, not separatists. There is a difference in connotations and meaning so don't give me the "same difference" argument."
            To those of us outside of Quebec, Andre, they're separatists, they want Quebec to become a distinct political entity from Canada – they want to separate from Canada in other words. I like to call things by their name and not fudge reality. So you go on using words that hide Gilles Duceppe's clearly stated political goals, I'll go on using words that describe his goals.

          • 2. As to your second comment, I continue to marvel at the naivete of many people regarding the fanatical single-mindedness of the PQ and BQ's operatives. Like a lot of pie-in-the-sky leftists, these people honestly beleive that the achievement of political independance will wipe away all of their problems and we know Quebec has many. Not the least of which is their plummeting birth rate. But they're true beleivers and everything to them is a means to achieving their separatist aims, including Andre, their presence in the Coalition. Read the BQ's constitution.

            I still can't beleive the Liberals inked that agreement with them last year, I honestly can't. What were they thinking?

          • And here I thought what would reduce the threat of the opposition bringing down the minority government is governing like a minority government. Doing silly things like working cooperatively in committee with your opponents rather than passing out a book of how to stonewall committees, or perhaps by not treating parliament as a game.

            It must be a special kind of conservative sense that you're speaking of.. because to me, what makes the most sense is respecting that the people of Canada awarded you a minority government for a reason — because they don't trust you to govern without moderation.

            So perhaps if the party was to demonstrate that it understood what moderation was then it wouldn't have to worry about being brought down.

          • I actually didn't vote Conservative last time but thanks for giving me a heads up that the people of Canada don't trust me. As for the Conservatives, I think you also have to remember that Canadians awarded them with a larger minority government than last time. It can be just as easily concluded that all the stonewalling and attack ads worked. But you hit the nail on the head about one thing. If you're the type of person who wouldn't even consider voting Conservative, then alot of what they do probably doesn't make sense to you.

          • And here I thought what would reduce the threat of the oppositiong bringing down the minority government is governing like a minority government. Doing silly things like working cooperatively in committee with your opponents rather than passing out a book of how to stonewall committees, or perhaps by not treating parliament as a game.

            It must be a special kind of conservative sense that you're speaking of.. because to me, what makes the most sense is respecting that the people of Canada awarded you a minority government for a reason — because they don't trust you to govern without moderation.

            So perhaps if the party was to demonstrate that it understood what moderation was then it wouldn't have to worry about being brought down.

          • You really live in your own world, don't you Jarrid?

            Don't ever change dude, you're a built-in comedy subplot.

            Also? Anybody – anybody – who espouses religious principles as wacky as those of Stockwell Day is going to have that craziness pointed out to the Canadian voting public. That isn't an attack ad, that's a public service.

        • Much more compelling argument when you put it thusly.

        • Much more compelling argument when you put it thusly. (and I'm not being sarcastic!)

        • I have a problem with the attack ads when there is an election, regardless of the party that puts them out.
          Do they work? I'd have to say yes, if you are uninterested in politics and unwilling to educate yourself about the issues during an election period.
          However, when there is NO election called, it borders on contemptable behaviour on the part of ANY party that puts them out.

        • Jarrid, you are an idiot with an obssessive compulsive disorder regarding Kinsella.

          He runs war rooms, morooon. He's not an ad guy. He's never run or produced or scripted an ad ever.

          • Actually you`re wrong. The first and most infamous attack ad was called Daisy and was produced by the Johnson team against Goldwater in 1964. Kinsella`s consulting firm is called Daisy——probably just a coincidence.

  6. "the source of that campaign is strictly Mr. Ignatieff's own words and own record"

    Really? Someone refresh me on when Iggy came out with "You know, I'm only visiting. And truth be told, I'm just in it for myself."

    • Paraphrased inferences from behaviour aren't really that mystifying, are they?

      • So should we paraphrase Harper's inferences from his behavior on.. oh.. income trusts, softwood lumber, non-elected senators, fixed election dates, desires to take power with the assistance of the Bloc, and ice-breakers in the arctic, to name a few?

        How about "Canadians are idiots who'll give me power no matter what I do, so long as I say I'm Conservative."

        • You don't even have to paraphrase Harper. Just quote him word on word from his Alberta Agenda.

          "Canada doesn't work." and many more anti-canadian sentiments.

      • Are you referring to Harper's behaviour implying that he doesn't care about Canadians or that he wants us to think his opponent doesn't care?

      • I wonder if a group of people (with or without Warren Kinsella's help) could take a set of 'paraphrased inferences' and create a 'hidden agenda'.

      • "Paraphrased inferences from behaviour "

        So, you are putting in slightly different terms something that you have made a deduction about based on observation (through a tinted lens) of an individual.

        I'm guessing here, but I suspect your Science teacher loved you.

    • I guess you could paraphrase Ignatieff regarding his thoughts on torture and the Iraq war. Or maybe on his confusion over what country he is a citizen of when he refers to himself as "We Americans".

      What happened to the moronic Lib-left anti-American mantra of the past few elections?

  7. Harper signalled long ago that, when interviewed, he won't play the role of a politiical analyst. He will leave analysis to the pundits and pollsters.

    When he is wearing his PM's hat, his role is to explain and advocate government policies. When he is wearing his "leader of the CPC" hat, he becomes more partisan, taking shots at the opposition. But don't ever expect him to become an analyst, as he just won't go there.

    • Unless its a hockey analyst, of course.

    • Unless he intends to psychoanalyze his political opponents. Amazing that he – in his role as psychoanalyst – he always finds them lacking.

    • Heaven forbid we have someone leading this country who might be able to apply thoughtful analysis.

      • Like Ignatieff?!!? Have you even watched one of his interviews? The guy has a sweet tooth for his own foot, not to metion a fetish with the word "I".

        • Yeah, unfortunately the defense of "Well johnny does it!" lost relevance around grade school for most people.

  8. or honourable…

  9. Gee…another interview with ATV. Almost as if they did Harper a favour in the election or something. There's also a Senate seat open in NS. Maybe Steve Murphy will get lucky.

    • But I do believe ATV are fair—-didn`t they also give an interview to Dion last fall ?

      • More than fair, they let him start over three times as I recall…

        • I wonder if they'll give us the out-takes of Harper as well?

      • Nah, I'd remember something like that…

        Wait..what were we talking about?

        Let me start over..

  10. To be fair, Murphy held his feet to fire pretty well.

  11. I watched the CTV interview and clearly the interviewer was trying very hard to get Harper to say something that they could lead the news with but the questions were stupid and Harper easily deflected them. The journalist corp that exists today are a pretty sad lot when it comes to interviewing politicians – they either fawn all over them or try for a 'gotcha moment' – neither are particularly effective in telling the viewing public anything useful.

    • Steve Paikin seems to me like a guy that can get answers.

  12. Nik Nanos, on CFRA radio, Monday June 22nd, has another take on the purpose of the attack ads. He figures the ads are aimed at soft NDP voters, many with anti-American feelings, who may be thinking of switching their vote to the Libs late in an election campaign.

    So the Tories may be trying to preempt a replay of that NDP vote-shifting dynamic, which occured in the last week of Paul Martin's win in the 2004 election.

    Listen to the interview here:
    http://www.cfra.com/interviews/default.asp

    • Thanks for including this – very interesting!

      If the NDP can't effectively use the current economic crisis to solidify their vote, one wonders if they have any future as a party.

    • It's not just the soft NDP voters that are mindlessly anti-American; there are a lot of solid Liberal voters who follow that same creed. Harper is smart to use their own stupidity against them since they have been waving the "Harper is just like an American" flag for the last two elections it makes them look quite brainless to now have an actual American citizen running the party.

  13. The PM seems off his game. What's worse, I'm not sure of that's a good or bad thing.

    • Did you even watch the interview, or are you simply a Lib-left sheep?

  14. Uh Oh – another CTV Interview!
    Be afraid – be vewvvy afwaid!

  15. When you watch the interview instead of reading the transcript , it doesn't come across as evasive or awkward. Mr. Harper repeated 'every' three times in one answer because the interviewer was continuing to talk, but that nuance isn't in the written transcript. One does get the impression that the interviewer was trying to get the PM saying something that could be held against him, or could be used in a 20-second sound clip for the evening news. I thought the interview, by and large, was a good one.

    • totally agree

  16. So to the extent that the adds have made the Liberals think twice about an election that most Canadians didn't want, then SH is fine with that; it's a good thing he says. Yet Harper is unable in anyway to take personal ownership for the veracity of the adds. They just wrote themselves.
    I suspect that many Canadians will be able to draw their own inferences from these statements. SH – a man without a moral compass…or am i plagiarising here?

    • When I first saw the Dion attack ads I thought the public would be outraged. They were to an extent but they also, unknowingly, were quoting the ads word for word. As crass as these ads are, they have a knack of hitting the right buttons in the voters minds, of just putting into words that little thing the public finds odd about the subject. That's why they work so well even though you'll be hard pressed to find someone to agree with them.

      • At the same time they're also saying something about the ethics of SH. This is the second time he's pulled this outside of the electoral writ and he'd do well to remember that attack adds are double edged weapons; they can blowback, just ask P.Martin.

  17. Well I don't know, but for sure the poles well go up and the poles well go down, a few per-centage points one way or the other. But one thing for sure is that, where Iggy has yet to hit his ceiling. Harper has hit his and is on his way down

    • Flag poles or Poles from Poland?

      • While Bill lacks a little grammatical polish, i think he's basically right. Harper's burned so many bridges, abandoned or run rough-shod over so many of his own vaunted principles that i find it very difficult to believe that the electorate will ever trust him with a majority. Ignateff's positives still outweigh his negatives – to date.

  18. If the 'truth ads' were not working,
    Aaron would not have this post up,
    inviting over 60 comments.

    What will/has made the truth ads work is MI himself.

    • It's ok and understandable to be partisan and want your guy to win, but that doesn't mean you have believe their bs as well.

  19. Yawn…..the ads have been out for how long?

    It must be summer.

    But Aaron, you must be pleased that one of your clan, reporters, chose to ask about something timely and substantive…just like Craig Oliver did with Iggy.

  20. Do all the Lib-left media bloggers have their panties in a bunch because of the latest polling numbers or are they panicking because the man they thought would be the new P.E.T. of Canada, Ignatieff, is slowing turning into Stephanie Dion, one chicken feather at a time.

  21. Harper needs to man up and own the message.

    Ignatieff has to come up with a plausible explanation for why Canadians should support someone that has chosen to live the vast majority of his adult life outside of Canada. There is nothing wrong with a person making that choice, but someone that wants to be a leader of a country should be thoroughly invested in it. Is he just looking for a plum to cap off his C.V. before retirement and fulfill his vision of familial legacy?

    • Well he has 'owned up, with a shrug of the shoulders and a big 'so what'? That's all there is to it really. So what if he did live abroad for a bit.
      Let's contrast this to the current office holder, Stephen Harper, career politician and a man of zero accomplishment outside of the political arena. Who has the more desperate desire to be Prime Minister – the one who can walk back into any number of respectable jobs at the drop of a hat, or the one who has nowhere else to go and who's obituary can be pretty well summed up as soon as he leaves 24 Sussex?
      This is another typical Con game of making the debate about nothing of any relevance at all – just like all that 'not a leader' smoke and mirrors stuff. Sad really.

      • If Iggy wants my vote, he has to make a convincing argument about how he feels a deep personal attachment to Canada, and why he chose to spend the majority of his life elsewhere.

        It is a huge question and one that will dog him if he can't answer it. It is the reason he lost out to Dion the first time around at the Liberal leadership. It is hard to conceive of any place on earth, other than Canada, that he could even be taken seriously as a national leader, given that record. Thankfully, Canada is not like other places and he does have that opportunity. For my vote, he would have to convince me regarding the questions above.