“He’s a nice guy, he’s a kind man, he’s a gentleman,” says Raitt.
Former Conservative MP & Deputy Conservative Leader Lisa Raitt is defending the besieged Andrew Scheer.
Speaking at the University of Toronto, Raitt noted that there is growing criticism within the party that Scheer “wasn’t strong enough,” but said she disagreed.
“The theme is the same regardless of whether you are an economic conservative, a social conservative or a libertarian, and this is it: that he wasn’t strong enough,” said Raitt. She also said the idea that Scheer is too weak is “not a fair assessment of him.”
“He’s a nice guy, he’s a kind man, he’s a gentleman,” she said. “He’s soft-spoken. And he tries to do what’s right in his world. And as a result of not being the ‘strong man,’ he’s being punished.”
Raitt also noted the criticism Scheer is facing from social conservatives:
“Social conservatives want a strong leader, and they want a strong leader to carry their social conservative views to Ottawa and have the strength to bring forward motions that are sympathetic and move forward the agenda of the social conservatives,” she said. “Andrew wasn’t going to do that.”
Raitt’s comments are somewhat supportive of Scheer, but will also feed into the idea that he is too weak, if only by bringing further attention to that line of criticism.
Scheer is also now facing a more organized opposition within the party, with a new group called ‘Conservative Victory’ led by former Harper Director of Communications Kory Teneycke, Ontario Proud/Canada Proud founder Jeff Ballingall, and former Conservative MP/Chairman of Harper’s 2006 campaign John Reynolds all pushing for Scheer to step aside.
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