Harper on the United States - Macleans.ca

Harper on the United States

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The official readout of the Prime Minister’s conversation with Barack Obama.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke tonight from India with the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  The Prime Minister extended his sincere congratulations to the President on his victory and wished him well on his second term. 

During their conversation, Prime Minister Harper and President Obama underlined the deep friendship that exists between Canada and the US – a relationship underpinned by the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world as well as close collaboration internationally on peace and security.

During the call, the Prime Minister conveyed that he looks forward to continuing to work with the President on initiatives vital to both countries. In the context of the global economic situation, Prime Minister Harper used the opportunity to convey to the President the importance of the White House and Congress working together to tackle the US fiscal situation.

Speaking with reporters after QP today, Bob Rae was unimpressed with the suggestion that the Prime Minister would be stressing the need to work cooperatively.

I only hope that President Obama is able to get along with other parties and is able to work constructively with other parties than Mr. Harper has proven to be the entire time that he’s been Prime Minister. In my experience in politics, I’ve never, never dealt with a first minister who is less interested in the opinions of other parties, who is less interested in working in cooperation with other parties and who is more determined to run the House like it’s some kind of one-party show. So I hope that President Obama learns from someone else. Of course we want, all the world wants Congress and the presidency to come together on some of these critical economic questions but Mr. Harper is in absolutely no position to give lectures to the President of the United States about how to get along with others. Even in his report cards from Grade 2 and 3, teachers were expressing concern about Mr. Harper’s inability to get along with other kids.

Mr. Rae then confessed that he made this last bit up.