Former Ontario premier Mike Harris says the fact that Liberals are slamming his record on the campaign trail is “a pretty desperate move on the part of a scandal-plagued government.”

Speaking to CTV’s Power Play Monday from Ukraine, where he served as an observer in this weekend’s presidential election, the former Tory leader said he’s tried to stay out of Ontario elections.

But his name has come up on several occasions as the Liberals hammer away at Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s pledge to eliminate 100,000 public-sector jobs.

“He’s talking about cutting twice as many jobs as Mike Harris did, and here’s the spoiler alert: that’s a recipe for recession, and it’s wrong for Ontario,” Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne said earlier this month while campaigning in Guelph.

Harris said Monday that his record as premier has been a “pretty good one.”

Asked what he thought about the Liberals calling Hudak a “Mike Harris clone,” the former premier said: “I’ve been out (of politics) 12 years. It’s a pretty desperate move on the part of a scandal-plagued government.”

Harris said Ontario is now “the only province or state or country in the world I know of that’s going backward on deficit and debt.

“Everybody else, I think, understands the problem of running up deficits and debt … for some reason or another Ontario is the odd province out, which perhaps explains why we’ve lost so many private-sector jobs, why our credit rating gets downgraded, why we’re now a have-not province.

“So I understand they don’t want to talk about that record.”