Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne compared the province’s opposition leader to Donald Trump and called him a liar and bully, a day after Doug Ford suggested that some members of the Liberal government belong in jail.
Ms. Wynne, who is seeking re-election in June and faces a tough campaign against Mr. Ford, said that the Progressive Conservative leader “all but chanted, ‘Lock her up,’” on Tuesday, referencing a slogan used by Mr. Trump when he was campaigning against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“Doug Ford sounds like Donald Trump, and that’s because he is like Donald Trump. He believes in [an] ugly, vicious brand of politics that traffics in smears and lies. He’ll say anything about anyone at any time because just like Trump, it is all about him,” Ms. Wynne said on Wednesday during an announcement at a Toronto hospital.
“That’s how Trump campaigned in 2016 and that’s how Ford is campaigning right now. I guarantee you that it will get worse before it gets better.”
At issue is a statement Mr. Ford put out on Tuesday when he said he’d call in an outside auditor to probe government spending if he wins the spring election.
“If Kathleen Wynne tried to pull these kinds of shady tricks in private life, then there would be a few more Liberals joining David Livingstone [sic] in jail,” said Mr. Ford in the statement. Mr. Livingston, a former top Liberal aide, was sentenced to four months in jail for his role in the destruction of documents related to the cancellation of two gas-fired power plants.
After Ms. Wynne spoke, Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod backed her leader’s comments and said no one was making the connection to jailing Ms. Wynne other than the Premier. “The only person bringing up that notion is Kathleen Wynne herself,” Ms. Macleod said. “She wants to make things up.”
On Monday, the Liberals unveiled a number of attack ads against Mr. Ford. While admitting that they are behind the Tories in the polls, Liberal strategists said that most people in Ontario don’t know Mr. Ford’s politics.
Unlike in the American election, where Democrats vowed to run against Mr. Trump’s comments by seeking more positive messages, Ms. Wynne said that wasn’t going to happen in her race.
“You have to stand up to him and you have to name the behaviour for what it is because that is how you deal with a bully. Michelle Obama, whom I admire greatly, recommended that when they go low, we should go high. I loved that idea when she said it, until we ended up with Donald Trump in the White House,” she said. “So, I’m sorry, but not again.”
Ms. MacLeod said the Ms. Wynne was deflecting attention from her own record with the comparison to Mr. Trump. “The campaign hasn’t even started yet and Kathleen Wynne is already trying to desperately scare people with negative attacks,” she said. “She’s running in a different country against a different candidate, because she can’t defend her own record in the province of Ontario.”
Published at Wed, 18 Apr 2018 17:23:18 +0000