Although he has remained mum so far on the U.S. presidential race, former President Obama threw his weight Wednesday behind embattled Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of next Monday’s close national election.
Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals are locked in a tight race with the Conservatives, with a personal scandal involving Mr. Trudeau’s use of blackface at events nearly two decades ago a wild card in the election. Still, Mr. Obama took the unusual step for an American president to weigh in explicitly on a Canadian race.
“The world needs [Mr. Trudeau’s] progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north support him for another term,” Mr. Obama tweeted.
Thus far, Mr. Obama has declined to endorse any of the Democrats looking to defeat President Trump in 2020, including his former vice president, Joseph R. Biden.
Mr. Trudeau deserves reelection because of his willingness to tackle “big issues,” like climate change, according to Mr. Obama’s message.
University of Toronto history professor Robert Bothwell told The Associated Press on Wednesday that there was no precedent for an endorsement of candidate in a Canadian election by a former U.S. president.