Brian Mulroney praises Conservative leader Erin O’Toole as ‘steady, strong and visionary’

Politics

Former prime minister and Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney gave a ringing endorsement to Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole Wednesday evening.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney spoke at a Conservative campaign event in Quebec, praising Erin O'Toole.(Paul Daly/The Canadian Press)

Former prime minister and Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney gave a ringing endorsement to Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole Wednesday evening.

At a Conservative rally at the Hôtel Chéribourg in Orford, Que., Mulroney praised O'Toole's leadership of the party, calling him "steady, strong and visionary."

The event came just a day after former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien spoke at a party rally in Brampton, Ont., in support of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

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Unlike Chrétien, Mulroney did not criticize leaders of opposing parties in his speech.

"I'm not here tonight to attack anybody. I'm here for one single reason — to help elect Erin O'Toole as the next prime minister of Canada," Mulroney said to cheers.

Mulroney also drew attention to similarities between himself and O'Toole.

Mulroney says he gave <a href="https://twitter.com/erinotoole?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@erinotoole</a> a pep talk when he was low in the polls <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cdnpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Elxn44?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Elxn44</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZzNSUcRdqg">pic.twitter.com/ZzNSUcRdqg</a>

&mdash;@Travisdhanraj

"I married up, and so did Erin," Mulroney said, referring to his spouse, Mila, and O'Toole's, Rebecca. "I became a lawyer, so did Erin."

When O'Toole took the stage, he took shots at Trudeau over calling the election, and Liberal scandals involving SNC-Lavalin and the WE Charity.

"We're in the very last stretch of the race, and this is when we're kicking it into high gear," O'Toole said. "The one reason why Mr. Trudeau has called this election is to save his job."

Mulroney, who is 82 and was prime minister from 1984 to 1993, generally has stayed away from campaign events in federal elections since leaving politics. He was the last Progressive Conservative prime minister elected with a majority government; in 1984 his party won the largest number of seats at the federal level in Canadian history.

Mulroney retired in 1993 and under his successor, Kim Campbell, the PCs lost all but two of their seats in the 1993 federal election.

In his speech, Mulroney said that O'Toole spoke with him in the months leading up to the election.

"I had a call from Erin. He said, 'Prime minister, I should tell you that there are bad polls, predicting my defeat. We are getting negative media coverage, and there is grumbling in the party. What do you think?'" Mulroney recounted.

"'I said, 'Erin, I think you should be thrilled … because that's exactly what they said about me, three months before the election in '84 when we won the largest majority in the history of Canada.'"

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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