During the news conference, Mr. Harper attacked Mr. Ignatieff, saying he was irresponsible for comments he allegedly made about Canada's position within the Group of Eight industrial nations. Mr. Harper was basing his criticism on a fragmentary quote supplied to him by a staff member before the news conference began. The quote, uttered by an academic, that Mr. Ignatieff is alleged to have said suggested a new configuration of the world's big powers to replace or augment the G8 might leave Canada out.
“Mr. Ignateff is supposed to be a Canadian,” Mr. Harper said. “I don't think you go out and float ideas like this that are so obviously contrary to the country's interest and no one else is advocating them.”
Mr. Harper, you're on the world stage - leave the petty, partisan politics at home. You have embarrassed not just yourself and your party, but Canada and Canadians by trying to make your appearance on the world stage another campaign stop.
But, there is something to be said for giving Harper enough bait that he embarrasses himself at such a high level:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has apologized to Michael Ignatieff for questioning the Liberal Leader's support for Canadian international interests, saying he based his attack on a quote Mr. Ignatieff never uttered.
“During that press conference, I attacked Mr. Ignatieff for some things he had allegedly said about Canada and the G8,” Mr. Harper said this afternoon at a wrap-up news conference of the Group of Eight major industrial nations.
“This was not a quotation of Mr. Ignatieff. I regret the error and I apologize to Mr. Ignatieff for the error.”
That's as close to an apology as Canadians will ever see out of this Prime Minister. Unfortunately, he hasn't apologized to his peers in the G8 for trying to use it as yet another campaign moment, nor has he apologized to Canadians for making the entire nation look like a bunch of rubes.