Doug Ford criticizes Pelosi and Sanders while praising Trump during trip to U.S.
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford waded into American politics during a trip to Washington D.C. on Friday, taking shots at United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders, while expressing his desire to see the re-election of President Donald Trump.
During a fireside chat with the Canadian American Business Council, Ford criticized Pelosi for tearing up Trump’s State of the Union speech earlier this week and said it was “uncalled for.”
“I was disappointed when I saw Nancy Pelosi get up there and start tearing the speech up,” Ford said. “It’s a real shame.”
“I didn’t like it,” Ford said. “I’ve never seen that in any State of the Union speech ever.”
As he addressed an American business crowd, Ford also denounced the “left wing” Liberal government that dominated Ontario politics for 15 years before the Progressive Conservatives 2018 victory and lamented the debt and deficit the former government left behind.
“I always say socialism doesn’t work, raising taxes does not work.”
The host interjected and asked Ford to “talk to Bernie Sanders” about the perceived negative aspects of socialism, to which Ford responded “that’s actually scary.”
While Ford reserved his praise for Trump, he confessed that he “loved listening to the president” during the State of the Union address and hinted that he’s rooting for the Republicans during this year's general election.
“We hope the election’s going to turn out the right way. Literally the right way.”
Ford was immediately blasted by Green Party leader Mike Schreiner, who said the premier should stay out of American politics altogether.
“It is wrong for the premier to take sides in the U.S. election, especially on behalf of a misogynistic candidate who does not reflect Ontario’s values."
“Instead of weighing in on the US election, I urge the premier to focus on building up Ontario’s education and health care systems while embracing the fast growing clean economy.”
The premier’s office later sought to clarify Ford’s statement about the American President’s re-election.
“Our hope is that whatever administration is elected is business-friendly and supports free and fair trade,” Press Secretary Ivana Yelich said in a brief statement.