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Harper trying to avoid being seen as directly responsible for attack ads on Iggy.

I’ve seen a few blogs out there commenting on Harper’s extreme discomfort on being challenged over the Conservative Party’s “just visiting” attack ads on Michael Ignatieff – discomfort to the point of Harper conceding that Anyone (including Ignatieff) can be PM, and seemingly backing off or even disavowing his Conservative Party’s recent attack ads and their main attack line.

As my title says, I think the reason Harper is doing this is to avoid being seen as being directly responsible for these ads, or directly endorsing them.  This, I feel, is so that in any future ad run that might cause a backlash towards the Conservative Party for being over the top, he can disavow any theoretical over-the-top attack ad and blame/fire the party operatives who came up with it, rather then being seen as having personally endorsed the ad.

That’s why I think he wouldn’t/couldn’t come out in this interview and say that, yes, he supported the main thrust of the Conservative Party ads; and why he instead tried to bob and weave around it (as Jeff noted). I believe he’s trying to maintain a fuzzy line of separation between himself and what his operatives in the PMO and Conservative Party do.

In my view, it’s cowardly on Harper’s part to do this; it’s rather obvious to anyone these ads wouldn’t have gone on the air without the Prime Minister directly approving their distribution, but I’m not surprised that Harper has no shame when it comes to this type of a weaseling answer. He and his government are very adept at it.


5 comments to Harper trying to avoid being seen as directly responsible for attack ads on Iggy.

  • Stan

    Funny how the anti American bigotry that the liberals fostered has come back to bite Iggy’s ass.

  • His stammering and distancing would also concur that the CONs own field work has demonstrated some unpopularity in these ads — likely even in their own circle. I don’t doubt that they’ve received an earful from donors who are tired of such antics, while the actual job of governing seems to escape Harper and his bumbling crew. I guess most people just haven’t figured out that these ads were just part of Harper’s ‘economic stimulus package’…

  • I think they tried to define Iggy before he had a chance. Now that they have effectively ‘labeled’ Iggs i think they will tone it down. As you were saying Scott a future ad run this disparaging will evoke a backlash. They could get away with it on Dion he was a lame-duck without party support. Iggs is a little different.

  • Well put Scott. Harper and his boyz are as adept at bobbing and weaving as was Smokin’ Joe Frazier in his prime.
    The ads will almost certainly work against him in the end because you just know that they will keep up the attacks as the fall – and the possibility of an election – approaches. It’s all they know.

  • […] into Ralph Goodale’s Wascana riding. The mailing also refers to the ridiculous “Just Visiting” ad campaign they wasted their money on (let’s hope the Conservatives spent their […]

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