Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Americans Watch a Canadian Skate: How PM Handled Multiple Queries on Trump

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Americans Watch a Canadian Skate: How PM Handled Multiple Queries on Trump

Article excerpt

Americans watch Trudeau skate on Trump

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Americans got to witness a Canadian visitor this week immersed in an activity his nation prides itself on having mastered: Stickhandling. The person performing the pivots was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The subject he skated around: Donald Trump.

The prime minister was asked repeatedly during his visit to New York this week and in Washington last week what he thinks of the Trump phenomenon.

It happened at the White House; at the UN; in front of a business audience; and Thursday in a Lower East Side New York deli where two men dispirited by the state of American politics dropped to their knees and jokingly begged Trudeau to run for president.

Trudeau avoided mentioning the billionaire's name every time.

"I have tremendous confidence in Americans' capacity to get the right result through their electoral system," he told a business audience Thursday, echoing previous responses.

"I think we're going to see what Americans are made of in this upcoming election."

He told the people in the deli that he couldn't -- as a Canadian. They replied that being born in Canada hadn't stopped Sen. Ted Cruz. Trudeau noted one significant difference with the Republican contender: Cruz is an American citizen.

He curtly told a news conference at the United Nations on Wednesday that he had faith in the better angels of Americans' nature, paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln.

Later, he alluded to the U.S. election before a high-powered crowd. After receiving an award from a women's group at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, he said the reason he was able to introduce progressive policies like a gender-parity cabinet and welcoming refugees was because his approach won with voters.

"As much as I was able to do, and my government was able to do, we only did it because Canadians made a choice: to choose a more open, fair, positive way of doing politics," he told the ballroom crowd, which included the heads of McDonald's, Campbell Soup, Shell, and the Carnival Corp.

He added, dryly: "That is certainly something that I hope resonates through political systems around the world. …

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