Trudeau says no plan to run for Liberal's top job
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau talks to reporters outside the House of Commons, in Ottawa, in this February 2012 file photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand)
Published Tuesday, June 12, 2012 2:02PM EDT
Justin Trudeau is deflecting suggestions he could reinvigorate the flagging Liberals, saying he's not prepared to run for the permanent leadership of the party.
In an interview on CTV's Power Play Monday, Trudeau said he's sticking with his decision not to throw his name in the ring.
"If you're waiting to find out whether I've reconsidered right now, the answer is no. My answer still holds at no. I've said I'm not going to run," Trudeau said, suggesting he's "touched and humbled" by the attention.
When asked about a recent poll that showed positive impressions of him nearly doubled those of Rae, the 40-year-old Montreal MP said it's nice to be popular.
"But politics isn't just a popularity contest or Stephen Harper wouldn't be our prime minister right now. It's about being more than that," he said, explaining that ensuring he strikes the right work-life balance figures into his decision too.
"The other question is it something that I'm actually equipped to do?" he said.
Answering all those questions, "requires a lot of thought and a lot of reflection," the father of two said, adding that, for now, he's not budging.
"I'm under a lot of pressure. A lot of good people I respect are telling me I need to rethink that no. And I'm open to listening to people," Trudeau told CTV's Roger Smith.
"I've never said never, never because I've always said sometime in the future I might indeed run for leadership of the Liberal party, just at this point I don't think it's this time."
Other Liberals considered contenders for the party's top job include astronaut-turned-MP Marc Garneau, former leadership contender Gerard Kennedy, Ottawa MP David McGuinty, and New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc. Toronto lawyer George Takach has also shown interest in the job.
Rae, the party's current interim leader, took on his role on the condition he would not run to contest the permanent leadership. Changes in the membership of the party executive have fuelled speculation they would no longer hold Rae to his commitment, however.
Last Thursday, amidst reports his campaign machine was winding up, Rae took to Twitter to say he still hadn't made up his mind.
"Party exec decision next week, and I know for sure I've made no decision...," Rae tweeted, referring to an expected teleconference with the Liberal party's national executive Wednesday.
Rae has twice run for Liberals' top job, coming third in 2006 and withdrawing from the 2008 contest won by his former college roommate Michael Ignatieff.
Ignatieff resigned in 2011 after leading the party to its worst-ever election showing of just 34 seats in the House of Commons.
The Liberal leadership convention is expected sometime between the beginning of March and the end of June, 2013.