November 22, 2002
LITTLE RASCALS HOUR:Chretien turns down resignation of his aide for her reported 'moron' remark (LOUISE ELLIOTT, 11/21/02, CP)
Prime Minister Jean Chretien said Friday he has refused the resignation of his embattled communications director, Francoise Ducros, over her alleged remark that U.S. President George W. Bush is a "moron." [...]
Earlier Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham said the reported remarks won't sour Canada-U.S. relations. [...]
Graham vehemently denied Canada-U.S. relations have deteriorated seriously, saying they are no worse than they were under former prime minister Brian Mulroney despite Mulroney's reputedly close relationship with former president Ronald Reagan.
"Different styles are different styles," he said of the contrast between the approaches toward Washington taken by Mulroney and Chretien. "But the strength of the relationship is there."
Graham said he "didn't accept the premise" that the relationship between the countries has worsened significantly under a perception of anti-Americanism among some Liberals, though he acknowledged having been tough on certain issues.
"We've had tremendous disagreements over trade policy," he said. "Believe you me, if you're concerned about that (moron remark), you should have heard what I had to say to Mr. Powell over softwood lumber."
But, he said, the countries have a good framework to manage disagreements "and we manage it well."
Chretien, who tried to douse the flames of controversy Thursday, saying the remark was inappropriate. Bush is "a friend of mine," Chretien said. "He's not a moron at all, he's a friend. My personal relations with the president are extremely good."
That's simply a lie. As we've noted before, Mr. Bush despises Mr. Chretien. And not just Chretien, Fred Barnes on Fox News Special Report last night, said that Vaclav Havel asked President Bush if he'd mind if they changed the seating arrangement so that Gerhard Schroeder was sitting next to him. (Apparently Mr. Schroeder is obsessed by the deterioration of their personal relationship.) Mr. Bush told Mr. Havel that there was no way he'd sit next to the German chancellor.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 22, 2002 2:32 PM