Liberal leadership race: Garneau challenges Trudeau to one-on-one duel
“The leadership of the Liberal Party is too important a position to hand to an untested candidate hiding behind a carefully crafted public relations campaign,” Garneau told a news conference Monday morning. “It is time for Justin to step up and defend his ideas because if he can’t defend them to me in front of a room full of Liberals, he will never be able to do it against Stephen Harper.”
The full statement:
I am here today to invite Justin Trudeau, my fellow contender for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, to a one-on-one debate.
I am calling on Justin to answer the tough questions he has been avoiding throughout the leadership race.
For weeks now I have said Justin Trudeau owes it to Canadians and to members of the Liberal Party to tell us what he stands for and what qualifies him to be leader of the party and the country – now, not after this race is over.
If he truly has the qualities to be leader, he should have the courage of his convictions to display them in a one-on-one debate with me.
It is time for Justin to step up and defend his ideas because if he can’t defend them to me in front of a room full of Liberals, he will never be able to do it against Stephen Harper.
There are only five more weeks left in this race and it’s time Justin actually defined his “bold” plan and “clear vision.”
Justin has repeatedly said his top priorities are youth and the middle class, yet he has offered nothing for either.
He speaks only in vague generalities, which undermines both his own credibility and, more importantly, the credibility of the Liberal Party of Canada. The party will never regain the trust of Canadians if we stand for everything and therefore nothing; if we demonstrate we are not capable of making tough choices.
Unlike Justin, I have a plan. I have made it clear where I stand on the knowledge economy, trade, telecommunications, western Canada, electoral reform and youth employment and student debt. I will have more to say in the weeks ahead.
I am calling on Justin to put the interest of Canadians and the Liberal Party of Canada ahead of his own aspirations, and tell them what he stands for, where he wants to lead and what his plans are for the country.
I will clear my schedule so we can meet on whatever day best suits Justin.
My commitment is to the party and the country. And as a party, we cannot put our faith in one individual without ensuring that person is up to the job – without first putting that person to the test.
The leadership of the Liberal Party is too important a position to be handed to an untested candidate who is hiding behind a carefully crafted public relations campaign.
The current format of Liberal Party leadership debates has so far provided limited opportunity for the nine candidates to offer a full picture of their contrasting views. There have been only fleeting moments for substantive debate and discussion of the issues and qualities of those involved.
To date, Justin and I have had only three minutes to debate one-on-one. That is not good enough.
Justin needs to demonstrate to Liberals and Canadians that he is up to the task of leading the Liberal Party and the country.
Trudeau’s response, so far:
I respect all the candidates for #LPCLdr. See you in Halifax, Marc. I hear there are 1 on 1s. 😉
— Justin Trudeau, MP (@JustinTrudeau) February 25, 2013
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