A former top adviser to Barack Obama says he hopes Justin Trudeau makes the case for trade when he addresses a group of skeptical American students this week. The topic of free trade and the negotiations of a renewed North American free trade pact will be hard to avoid when the prime minister takes the stage tomorrow at the University of Chicago with David Axelrod, who served in Obama’s administration. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)
A seemingly off-the-cuff remark by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau morphed into a scornful segment on one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s favourite TV shows Tuesday just as the prime minister heads to the U.S. in hopes of selling Canada’s virtues stateside.
Fox and Friends was among the mainstream media outlets that seized on a surprising exchange between Trudeau and a woman at a town hall event, an interaction that’s since spun out to become a subject of global ridicule on the right side of the political spectrum.
The woman was going on about the need for more support for religious organizations and said maternal love was key to changing the future of mankind. At that point, Trudeau interjected, cheerfully telling her, “We like to say peoplekind, not necessarily mankind. It’s more inclusive.”
The remark was warmly received by both the woman and many others in the audience, but when footage of the exchange surfaced Tuesday, it drew withering condemnation from social and mainstream media.
Prominent British TV broadcaster Piers Morgan called Trudeau a “Chief PC Plonker,” accusing him of killing off mankind. Australian columnist Rita Panahi called him the “Kim Kardashian of political leaders; an all-style, no-substance himbo with all the depth of a puddle.”
Jokes abounded, with pictures posted of comic superhero Batman changing his name to “Batperson” or the province of Manitoba becoming “Peopletoba.”
Conservative parliamentarians also got in a few jabs. At one point Tuesday during a testy question period exchange, deputy Tory leader Lisa Raitt urged the prime minister to “person up.”