OTTAWA – Conservative attack ads against Justin Trudeau have turned into a financial boon for the Liberal party.
The party raised $336,000 in the 48 hours following Trudeau’s landslide victory in the Liberal leadership race Sunday.
Officials say that’s more than double the party’s previous top haul for an e-mail fundraising campaign.
They say the donations poured in after two back-to-back mass email solicitations that urged Liberals to fight back against Conservative attacks.
The first, sent out just as Trudeau was leaving the stage Sunday after delivering his acceptance speech, urged Liberals not to let the coming barrage of “negative and misleading attacks” drown out the new leader’s “positive message of change.”
The second was issued Monday evening — shortly after the Conservatives launched three television ads featuring video from 2011 of Trudeau doing a mock strip-tease for a charity event.
The Tory ads, set to carnival music and voiced in a mocking tone, assert that the new Liberal leader has neither the experience nor judgment to be prime minister and conclude with the tag line: “Justin Trudeau. He’s in way over his head.”
Trudeau has vowed to remain positive and not to respond in kind to negative attacks, of which he believes Canadians are heartily fed up.
Response to the email solicitations, sent out under his name, suggests he may be right.
“The Conservatives are already back in the gutter,” he said in the Monday evening email blast.
“Now they’re using pictures from a charity fashion show to attack me and undermine what we’ve built … They’ve seen what we can do and they’re desperately trying to drown us out with the childish, food-fight politics.”
The email also urged people to donate to the Canadian Liver Foundation, the charity for which Trudeau stripped off his jacket, tie and shirt at a fundraising gala in 2011.
The foundation reports it has received almost $10,000 in donations over the past two days — more than twice what it normally receives in unsolicited donations in a month.