Monday night’s federal leaders’ debate has plenty of awkward moments as six leaders sparred with five moderators over contentious topics. But one of the night’s most awkward moments came early on, when Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau seemed to get two of his political rivals mixed up.
During an exchange between Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh early in the evening, Trudeau repeatedly called Singh “Mr. Scheer,” in reference to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
Singh was sparring with Trudeau over off-shore tax havens, when Trudeau responded by addressing him as “Mr. Scheer.”
“I’m very different than Mr. Scheer,” Singh said, prompting a laugh from the crowd.
Acknowledging the flub, Trudeau brushed it off with a joke, saying the two leaders “look so alike” to him.
Of course, the two look nothing alike. Scheer is tall. Singh is less tall. Scheer drinks a lot of milk. Singh has not been photographed drinking a lot of milk. Singh can get down on the dance floor. We have no evidence of Scheer’s dancing abilities, but I’m skeptical. This list of differences goes on.
Later in the night, moderator Dawn Friesen mixed up Scheer and Singh, as well.
“I wore a bright yellow turban for a reason!” Singh said, while Scheer referenced his height.
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“Stop rubbing it in,” Singh responded.
Monday night marked the first time Trudeau and Scheer were able to spar directly in an English-language setting. The Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck in the polls, with one of the two parties likely to form government. So it makes sense Trudeau had Scheer on his mind.
Probably a good idea to keep your political opponents straight during a federal election, though.