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Bush is a moron, says Chretien aide

by Joe Saturday, Nov. 23, 2002 at 11:27 PM

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

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