In a desperate fight for her political survival, Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne reached for the ultimate weapon in Canadian politics on Wednesday: comparing Ontario Conservative Leader Doug Ford to President Donald Trump.
As the National Post reports, Wynne is hoping that Ontario voters view Ford with the same obvious disdain that the premier has for Trump.
“Let’s just call this for what it is…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’s all about him,” Wynne said Wednesday at a hospital photo-op.
With a June 7 provincial election edging ever closer, Wynne is apparently pulling out all the stops to stop Ford — whom all polls suggest will be the next premier of Canada’s largest and most industrialized province.
But Wynne was already pushing back against criticism that her over-the-to remarks could hurt the province’s trade with the U.S. Saying she’s “been careful,” Wynne told CBC News Thursday morning, “I don’t know what Donald Trump’s reaction would or wouldn’t be. He may be fine with being compared with Doug Ford.”
Ford’s late brother, Rob Ford, was a controversial mayor of Toronto who became world-famous for his very public fight with liberal politicians and personal substance abuse issues. Doug Ford consistently appeals to the “Ford Natio”” of populist conservatives that his brother founded and nurtured.
Ford has said that he would have voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election had he been eligible to do so.
The Ontario Liberals have been quick to identify Ford with Trump in a series of attack ads first released last week.
“Let’s be clear. We’re behind. Current trends, Doug Ford is going to be premier of Ontario,” a senior Liberal strategist told the National Post. “People need to know what he represents and what he is about.”
For his part, Ford has suggested Wynne would be in jail if she were a private citizen and not the premier of Ontario. He calls her administration “the most politically corrupt government this country has ever seen” and is promising an independent audit of the province’s finances if he becomes premier.
A provincial budget this month that offered hundreds of millions of dollars in financial giveaways to voters has had no apparent impact on election polls.
In response to a request for comment from The Daily Caller, Doug Ford Press Secretary Melanie Paradis said Ford would “not be issuing a statement today [Thursday] on this issue. We’re talking about health care instead.”