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Bush is a moron, says Chretien aide

by Joe Sunday, Nov. 24, 2002 at 7:27 AM

PRESIDENT BUSH was called a moron by the Canadian Prime Minister’s spokeswoman in an unguarded remark at the Nato summit.





Bush is a moron, says Chretien aide

From Richard Cleroux in Ottawa



PRESIDENT BUSH was called a moron by the Canadian Prime Minister’s spokeswoman in an unguarded remark at the Nato summit.

Françoise Ducros, who has a reputation for acerbic off the record comments, was heard by two reporters on Wednesday to say “what a moron” after Mr Bush called on Nato countries to spend more on defence.

Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minister, sought immediately to repair damage with Washington, saying on television: “He is not a moron. He is my friend.” Mr Chrétien said that he had declined an offer by Ms Ducros to resign.

The remark was evidence of tension between the United States and Canada, which has offered less than wholehearted support for Washington’s campaign against Iraq.

The President may have been speaking in general terms about defence spending, but Mr Chrétien’s delegation saw his remarks as a veiled reference to Canada. John McCallum, the Defence Minister, had on the same day said that Canada would decide for itself how much to spend and rejected pressure by the US Ambassador in Ottawa to buy six US-made transport jets at £100 million each.

Ms Ducros’s remark was largely ignored in the United States. It was mentioned briefly in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and was treated humorously on a CNN talk show.

Ari Fleischer, President Bush’s spokesman, said at the summit in Prague that the comment came from “somebody who obviously doesn’t speak for the Canadian Government”.

Ms Ducros does speak for the Canadian Government, however, although her briefings to reporters are usually off the record. Her remark reflects the view of Canadians who do not regard Mr Bush as the equal of Bill Clinton or Tony Blair.

Canadians like to laugh at Americans and poke fun at their President. A television show, Talking to Americans, is very popular. People chosen at random on the streets of American cities are asked questions about Canada and are shown to know next to nothing about the country.

The show interviewed Mr Bush in Michigan two years ago while he was campaigning for the presidency and got him to praise “Mr Putin” as the Prime Minister of Canada.

Government officials in Ottawa, who on Wednesday were distributing photographs of Mr Bush and Mr Chrétien smiling and talking together, were taken by surprise by Ms Ducros’s comment.

A member of Mr Chrétien’s entourage in Prague said of the Prime Minister’s apology on television for the remark: “It’s not what we call a ‘win-win’ situation in the best of times.”



The London Times

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 108 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Correction Squinky Dink Sunday, Nov. 24, 2002 at 6:20 PM
Ms Margaret Liggett Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2002 at 3:17 PM
Simple Simple Simon Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2002 at 10:14 PM
musician joseph bloew Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2002 at 11:42 PM
"Ahem, Gore did win." electorial college Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2002 at 2:13 PM
Simple Simple Simon Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2002 at 8:44 PM
Decision, guilt free. Sheepdog Thursday, Nov. 28, 2002 at 5:36 AM
bush-moron einstein Thursday, Nov. 28, 2002 at 10:38 AM
confirm observer Thursday, Nov. 28, 2002 at 11:55 AM
#3-the genius of George confirm Thursday, Nov. 28, 2002 at 12:03 PM
Simple Simple Simon Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2002 at 2:05 PM
asparagus Herman Munster Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2002 at 4:18 PM
Pay no attention Sheepdog Friday, Nov. 29, 2002 at 4:51 AM
1 + 1 = 1 Ragin Canadian Friday, Nov. 29, 2002 at 5:55 AM
Simple Simple Simon Friday, Nov. 29, 2002 at 4:07 PM
Mr. Joe Canadian Friday, Nov. 29, 2002 at 6:42 PM
Dr. phgnome Friday, Nov. 29, 2002 at 9:23 PM
Q:Canada Sucks? A:Not by American Standards Saturday, Nov. 30, 2002 at 1:15 AM
oops damnit Saturday, Nov. 30, 2002 at 1:17 AM
comment was close blake Sunday, Dec. 01, 2002 at 1:21 AM
Simple Simple Simon Wednesday, Dec. 04, 2002 at 11:53 PM
How come? a fragment of cosmos Thursday, Dec. 05, 2002 at 12:18 AM
Simple Simple Simon Thursday, Dec. 05, 2002 at 12:43 AM
Canadians Do It Better Not Simon the patriotic nutcase Thursday, Dec. 05, 2002 at 3:39 PM
Simple Simple Simon Friday, Dec. 06, 2002 at 5:31 PM
More than a moron Sheepdog Friday, Dec. 06, 2002 at 10:12 PM
Furthermore Sheepdog Friday, Dec. 06, 2002 at 10:40 PM
Simple Simple Simon Friday, Dec. 06, 2002 at 11:28 PM
Yup that's right. Sheepdog Friday, Dec. 06, 2002 at 11:53 PM
met a pie-man Baphomet Saturday, Dec. 07, 2002 at 12:00 AM
Land of opportunity Ragin Canadian Saturday, Dec. 07, 2002 at 10:07 PM
Simple Simple Simon Saturday, Dec. 07, 2002 at 10:22 PM
Wheee! Canadian Admirer Saturday, Dec. 07, 2002 at 10:41 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Dec. 07, 2002 at 10:45 PM
New shift is in. Sheepdog Sunday, Dec. 08, 2002 at 3:14 AM
how Bush Admirer Works fascio Sunday, Dec. 08, 2002 at 7:16 AM
HAHAHAHA!!! Ragin Canadian Sunday, Dec. 08, 2002 at 2:48 PM
HAHAHAHA!!! Ragin Canadian Sunday, Dec. 08, 2002 at 2:48 PM
Get out and stay out; royal SCUM. Sheepdog Sunday, Dec. 08, 2002 at 4:13 PM
Communism? Ragin Canadian Sunday, Dec. 08, 2002 at 8:46 PM
Clueless in wonderland Sheepdog Sunday, Dec. 08, 2002 at 10:33 PM
Kicked off? Ragin Canadian Sunday, Dec. 08, 2002 at 11:25 PM
And furthermore Sheepdog Sunday, Dec. 08, 2002 at 11:37 PM
Socialism xucks unless you're a corporation Sheepdog Monday, Dec. 09, 2002 at 1:06 AM
thanks 'Ragin Canadian'..... lynx-11 Monday, Dec. 09, 2002 at 1:22 AM
Simple Simple Simon Monday, Dec. 09, 2002 at 2:11 AM
. lynx-11 Monday, Dec. 09, 2002 at 2:35 AM
I'm assuming you don't have children Ragin Canadian Monday, Dec. 09, 2002 at 12:13 PM
voting Ragin' Australian Monday, Dec. 09, 2002 at 12:24 PM
The good fight Sheepdog Monday, Dec. 09, 2002 at 4:00 PM
Vote manipulations Sheepdog Monday, Dec. 09, 2002 at 4:25 PM
Furthermore Sheepdog Monday, Dec. 09, 2002 at 4:36 PM
I'm so impressed Sheepdog Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 at 5:13 AM
Harvard? HA! Ragin Canadian Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 at 6:17 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 at 5:47 PM
Simple Simple Simon Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 at 6:29 PM
Negative, Mr. Simple Sheepdog Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 at 7:05 PM
Simple Simple Simon Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 at 9:14 PM
Go clean your rifle, dickweed. Sheepdog Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 at 9:42 PM
Well DUH! Question Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2002 at 1:29 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2002 at 1:29 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2002 at 11:36 PM
Simple Simple Simon Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2002 at 11:42 PM
. lynx-11 Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2002 at 11:48 PM
. lynx-11 Friday, Dec. 13, 2002 at 1:41 AM
. lynx-11 Friday, Dec. 13, 2002 at 5:26 AM
This is FUNNY! Sheepdog Friday, Dec. 13, 2002 at 5:48 AM
happy quotes Bush Lover Friday, Dec. 13, 2002 at 10:22 AM
It's all in good fun, isn't it? Marc Friday, Dec. 13, 2002 at 9:28 PM
however... Marc Friday, Dec. 13, 2002 at 9:44 PM
...and... Marc Friday, Dec. 13, 2002 at 9:46 PM
...see... Marc Saturday, Dec. 14, 2002 at 12:21 AM
Indeed!! Sheepdog Saturday, Dec. 14, 2002 at 12:46 AM
...to prove a point... Marc Saturday, Dec. 14, 2002 at 12:51 AM
Arf! Arf! ......... Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2002 at 8:02 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2002 at 8:13 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2002 at 8:15 AM
go get them Bush Lefty hater Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2003 at 3:45 AM
jerni Britt Monday, Mar. 31, 2003 at 9:54 PM
Simple Simple Simon Monday, Mar. 31, 2003 at 9:59 PM
Bursting bubbles rodie Friday, May. 30, 2003 at 12:02 PM
barf cus Friday, May. 30, 2003 at 1:15 PM
vomit suc Friday, May. 30, 2003 at 8:00 PM
canadians relief organizations nigga please Friday, May. 30, 2003 at 9:12 PM
Logical Fallacy debate coach Friday, May. 30, 2003 at 9:45 PM
rodie Scottie Friday, May. 30, 2003 at 10:37 PM
Help me Eric Friday, Jun. 06, 2003 at 4:18 PM
Bush is an absolute moron frank martinez Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2004 at 5:52 AM

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