These are the kinds of things an election can turn on.
Tom Friedman is scrambling this morning to fix a mistake he made in yesterday morning’s debate on NL’s Jim Harrison Show. I was astounded to hear his answer to Todd Stone when the Kamloops-South Thompson Liberal asked him whether the NDP is committed to the entire RIH master plan.
Friedman said the party is committed to the first phase. What about the rest of it? Friedman hesitated, then said the NDP would “look at it.”
Stone nailed him on it. Friedman tried to recover by saying if elected he would personally advocate for it, but he didn’t guarantee it. An MLA “advocating” for something is a far cry from a government or party saying it will be done. That provided fodder for the Liberals for the rest of the day, and for the rest of the election.
This morning. Friedman is back on NL, providing a voice clip saying he supports the entire master plan, and in The Daily News saying he may have “misspoken.”
It would have been so easy for Friedman to avoid it. All he had to do was say that of course the NDP would carry through with the full RIH plan, and then turn the tables on Stone by saying there are no guarantees the Liberals will follow through on their promise, and that taking out the trees in front of the hospital (work supposed to start today) in preparation for Phase One is just cheap electioneering.
But he didn’t. He tried to put too fine a point on a motherhood question. And now he’s got a problem.